By Carlie Connolly
Parkside School took part in the P.A.R.T.Y program, taking a Grade 9 group to the Medicine Hat Hospital for a full, informative day on Feb. 5 to experience what would happen as a result of impaired driving. Lloyd Bray, one of the teachers that took the students for the visit said that it really taught them good decision making in regards to safety when driving. There were sections on texting and driving and speed that were discussed to the students when pointing out factors of unsafe driving. Alcohol related collisions were also a big topic.
“The primary focus is avoiding alcohol related issues from driving and accidents,” said Bray.
The P.A.R.T.Y program, which stands for Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth, involved the students visiting different parts of the hospital. They went through the occupational therapy ward to see how occupational and physical therapy relates to the accidents caused today. They also went to the paramedic wing where the paramedics take them through a scenario of what happens when there is an accident, and they also went to the emergency wing. Some of the emergency nurses took them through what happens when someone comes in from a bad accident.
“I think it’s shocking to a lot of them to see what happens to people.”
The students also got the chance to hear from a police officer who talked about the criminal side of things. The officer talked of personal experiences when arriving at an impaired driving accident and what they have to deal with.
“I think how it benefits most kids is they’ve never been in that situation.
There’s a little bit of fear involved there,” said Bray.
There were also two community members who gave a talk to them who were actually involved in impaired driving accidents that sustained brain injuries, which really opened the students eyes to what could happen if they drove dangerously.
Bray said the program is about putting them in a situation where they are talking to people, rather than hearing lectures on ambiguous topics. He said that these are people that are dealing with the trauma everyday as a result of various incidents like impaired driving, excessive speed and texting while driving.
Students also went through a role play as well, where they have to put these things on their hands and eat lunch with a neck brace on, restricting their mobility, which taught them what it would be like to be disabled from an impaired driving accident.