On Wednesday, April 3, students from Fernie Secondary School witnessed a mock extrication and participated in an emergency room demonstration, which helped spread awareness about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Mock extrication raises awareness at Fernie schools

Mock extrication exercise highlights driving dangers; fire department seeks new program organizer

Youth around the Elk Valley got a taste of the dangers of impaired and distracted driving during a mock extrication performed by the Fernie Fire Department, and BC Ambulance Service workers earlier this month.

On April 3, Fernie Secondary Students watched as firefighters worked to pry apart a car to get to a patient, who was extricated and transferred into the care of BC Ambulance Workers.

The students then underwent a series of workshops in the hospital, one of which took place in the emergency room.

From tending to a major bleed, examining x-rays, keeping a patient breathing, or sifting through vomit to identify drugs, students got a feel for what first responders go through during and after attending to the scene of an emergency.

First responders also spoke with the students about what it’s like to notify next-of-kin that their child has passed away and the emotions that come with that. In a small town, they said, this is especially difficult.

The workshops, led by Fernie Fire Department Lieutenant Tom Hopkins, took place over several weeks, in order to reach the entire Elk Valley and South Country.

“A lot of times they don’t know the consequences of texting and driving,” said Hopkins after the presentation.

“They get away with it, but they don’t understand people lose their licences, people kill people over that… how quick that would change your life.”

Hopkins explained that people age 16-25 are most likely to be involved in a motor-vehicle accident. More youth die than seniors. Close to 25,000 youth in North America have died due to drinking and driving.

This, Hopkins says, is far too many. It’s for these reasons and more that he holds these talks every year.

For 22 years Hopkins has been organizing these talks. But this year is his last, as the firefighter prepares to retire next year. He said it’s time for someone else to take over.

Anyone willing to take on the role of organizer for these programs can contact Hopkins at the Fernie Fire Department.


Just Posted

Stetski talks up NDP election platform

NDP candidate for Kootenay-Columbia riding outlines election ‘commitments’ to Canadian voters

Abra Brynne wins Kootenay-Columbia Green Party nomination

Brynne is one of three candidates who will challenge MP Wayne Stetski

Structure fire near Elko quickly contained, spreading prevented

A quick response by local firefighters today prevented the spread of a… Continue reading

Huckleberry harvesting restricted to protect grizzly habitat

The Province is restricting commercial-scale huckleberry harvesting to protect grizzly bear habitat… Continue reading

American Kevin Sheehan crowned champion at Fernie disc golf tournament

Close behind was Calgary’s Bogdan Szafranowicz and American Brian Bjortomt

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read