Surprise Fire-Medical grant sets up mock disaster drill April 19

The doors to Surprise Fire-Medical headquarters at the Civic Center (yourwestvalley.com file)

By Julie Moore, Special to Independent Newsmedia

The Surprise Fire-Medical Department has been awarded grant funding in the amount of $8,351 from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

The grant objective is to enhance DUI Alcohol Education and Awareness throughout the city.

SFMD will utilize the funding to conduct a Drunk/Distracted Driving Mock Drill for more than 2,600 students at the Valley Vista High School football stadium at 8:30 a.m. April 19.

SFMD hopes to educate young adults by emphasizing the dangers and life-changing consequences of impaired and/or distracted driving. The mock drill is taking place two days prior to Valley Vista’s prom with the goal of encouraging students to make good, sound decisions on prom weekend and for the rest of their lives.

SFMD is working in conjunction with the Surprise Police Department, Helicopter Air-Medical and Logistics Operations (HALO), the Dysart Unified School District, and Valley Vista High School to plan and conduct the mock drill.

The mock drill will simulate a car collision involving an impaired and distracted driver. Students from Valley Vista High School’s Theater Program will play the roles of the drivers and passengers in the wrecked vehicles. Following the collision, the SFMD and SPD will be dispatched to the crash, and will conduct on-scene operations as if this were an actual incident.

The mock drill will escalate with HALO 151 arriving and landing on the football field to transport a severely injured teenager with life threatening injuries to a nearby trauma hospital. Another injured teen will be transported by ambulance to a local hospital. The mock drill includes a student being detained by the SPD and a death notification scene, with the parents of a deceased teenager.

The SFMD is providing funding for the purchase of silicone wristbands for every high school student and staff member within the DUSD to further promote awareness. Additionally, SFMD will be awarding first, second, and third place prizes to the winners of the Impaired/Distracted Driving poster and PSA contests conducted by Valley Vista High School.

The mock drill will be videotaped and distributed to other schools in Surprise and posted on various social media sites.

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