The Rexburg Fire Department performed an emergency drill of a mock car crash Friday morning at Madison High School.
The drill was performed to teach kids about the dangers of texting while driving, said Kealie Wallis, a teacher of family and consumer sciences at Madison High School.
“They brought the car here at 7 a.m., and then they smashed it up and rolled it on its side,” Wallis said. “We had police officers that roped off different sections to direct traffic so that no one could get hurt.”
Wallis said they wanted to treat it like a real accident, so they got the Rexburg Fire Department and Life Flight services involved.
“They treated the victims as if they were real victims, asking a bunch of questions, assessing the scene and their made-up injuries,” Wallis said. “They wanted to treat it as realistically as possible.”
Wallis said the school board sent notifications to all parents letting them know that it was only a drill, and there were school counselors standing by in case anyone was upset by the situation.
“We wanted this to be a teaching opportunity because of all the timing,” Wallis said. “We wanted it to be educational, engaging entertainment, and we wanted it light-hearted, because we didn’t want to cause any emotional stress to the students.”
Wallis said the event was a success because students were more engaged in the emergency drill than they would have been in a normal class setting.
“Students signed a pledge at lunch saying they would not text and drive,” Wallis said. “The culinary students made treats with funds donated by Wal-Mart, and AT&T sent us virtual reality goggles to show students what distracted driving can do.”
Wallis said the students were behind the project from the beginning.
“An administrator approached us and I approached the students,” Wallis said. “This was very much student based.”
Wallis said Madison High School would like to see the number of accidents caused by texting and driving decrease, although she was happy just to hear students talking about the issue.
“We were wanting the word to spread quickly,” Wallis said. “I’m surprised at what students can do when they put their mind to something.”