On Wednesday 2nd May the sixth form students were given the opportunity to learn more about how to stay safe and be aware of risks whilst driving or whilst being a passenger.
The presentation began with a talk from Andrew Nattrass - Young Driver Education Coordinator for Norfolk and Suffolk Police. We then watched a video from Thomas, a local young man who talked about his own experience of being in a very serious car crash which was life threatening. He talked about the lasting impact the crash has had on both himself and his family and really brought home the trauma of being involved in such an accident. Thanks to the work of emergency service workers his life was saved. Unfortunately many in the same position are less lucky.
We then saw a demonstration of how emergency services evacuate a casualty from a crashed vehicle - in this case Zacci Harrison, a student volunteer. The speed and effectiveness of the Fire and Rescue service, ambulance team and police was commendable. Seeing the amount of skill, time and effort needed gave us a huge respect for the emergency services. We also saw the remains of a crashed car which showed the amount of destruction which can be inflicted during a crash.
Later we listened to a family liaison officer who identifies the bodies of those who have died and then has the task of informing their next of kin. Each time this happens, we were told, you do not know who will open the door, a sister, an uncle, a mother with a baby. Her experiences showed us how a crash can affect not only those involved in the accident but also their loved ones.
Finally one of the paramedics who assisted with the demonstration told us of its personal meaning to him. After asking us to raise our hands if we knew what we wanted to do when we were older, he told us of his son who wanted to be in the army but had died in a car crash aged 19. Hearing such a personal account of the devastating loss inflicted by a crash on a family made us all realise that none of us are invincible and perhaps made some of us think more carefully about our driving.
Hopefully this workshop will lead to one less visit from a family liaison officer to a family home.
Eleanor Kerr and Emily Collins