Police Fire Ambulance provide driving safety demo for GESS 2023 Grads

The George Elliot Secondary School (GESS) graduation class of 2023 saw firsthand what choices in driving distracted, impaired or without a seatbelt can mean. Police, firefighters and paramedics provided a live demonstration Wednesday, May 24th at GESS. 

Grade 12 students watched a 45-minute presentation in the Creekside Theatre including personal experiences from Lake Country RCMP officers, and video clips from ICBC in the “one click” presentation developed in collaboration with ICBC RoadSense, Autobrokers and RCMP. Then students headed out to a staged accident scene in the north parking lot of the high school to view the process of what each first response agency does when attending a motor vehicle accident to secure the site, preserve evidence, and most importantly to save the life of any involved. 

Students could see the real time efforts made to save the lives of anyone not wearing a seatbelt that was ejected from an impacted vehicle, as well as anyone injured within the vehicle. The driver suspected of being impaired was taken into police custody at the scene while viewing the first responder efforts and the resulting white sheet covering over his friend that was deceased at the scene.

“It was an excellent presentation put on by our community about safety,” said a GESS staff member. “I found the lesson to be very impactful and can definitely say that the kids were talking about it for the rest of the day. Please make sure your kids actually understand why wearing a seatbelt is so important. They went into detail regarding drinking, distracted driving and more. I hope that through today’s presentation someone’s life is saved!”

Members of Lake Country Fire Department, Lake Country RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, as well as GESS principal and staff, Mario’s Towing, Rotary Club of Lake Country, the Lake Country Cultural Development Coordinator and District of Lake Country Communications Officer as well as community members volunteering as actors worked together to host the event for the GESS grad class of 2023.

“The purpose of the presentation was to remind young drivers to make good choices – especially coming up to the grad celebration time of year,” said Brandwyn Rigby, RCMP School Resource Officer and event co-organizer. “Plan to have a designated driver – no alcohol and no drugs; no distractions; and seatbelts in use for all occupants of a vehicle. Getting young people talking about those choices and planning ahead for how they plan to celebrate their graduation can make a huge difference. If this presentation can save just one life, it is absolutely worth it!”

“Getting all agencies working together on the presentation and mock accident scene was a great experience,” said co-organizer Eric DeGelder, Lake Country Fire Department. “Everyone brought their ideas and local experience to the table. And having Mario’s Towing on board to provide the vehicles; and the Rotary Club to do a hot dog lunch for the grads really helped make the event a success and something the students will remember. We hope they talk about it with friends and family, share what they learned, and how they want to plan for safe grad events and make good choices every time they get in a vehicle.”