Kootenay Employment Services hosted the Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth (PARTY) at Kootenay River Secondary School for students in Grades 10 and 12 yesterday.
Students gathered in the auditorium to hear from paramedics, firefighters, and those who had experienced tragedies related to impaired driving and irresponsible consumption.
Creston Fire Captain Randall Fabbro says it’s an important lesson to learn at their age.
“They’re just about to finish high school, and they need to learn and see the realities of their decision-making from now until they’re an adult. Making a good decision will get you home to your family, whereas a bad decision might be the opposite of that.”
During their presentation, Fabbro said any collision with alcohol involved isn’t an accident.
“Your decisions and your course of actions during the evening leads to what happens in the future. So it’s technically not an accident because you’ve decided to consume the alcohol. You’ve made the decision to get in the vehicle with an impaired driver or be impaired yourself and drive,” described Fabbro.
“So it’s not an accident anymore when you’ve decided to do what you’ve done or to make the decisions you’ve made, and there are consequences.”
Following the firefighter’s presentation, medical staff walked students through a possible scenario where an impaired driver ends up needing medical attention.
Volunteers applied CPR and watched as the doctors went through the steps to attempt to stabilize the patient.
Despite efforts from the volunteers, the patient did not survive.
“We need them to feel it, to see the first responders, to see what we go through, to hear what we go through because it just doesn’t affect the person that’s watching it,” said Fabbro.
“It affects everybody down the chain your family, the first responders, yourself, your friends. Your decisions affect everybody, not just yourself. So we need to make you realize that your decisions have big consequences to them.”
The PARTY program aims to protect youth from making decisions that could irreversibly damage their lives, wisdom Fabbro, his crew, all the staff who volunteered their time, the survivors, and the KES staff hope to impart.
“We’d rather meet you coming to the fire hall for a tour or somewhere else than on an emergency scene or at a hospital or meet your family in those conditions.”