Public Safety Officials Put on Mock Crash for D-Y Students

YARMOUTH – Senior students at the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School got an education on the dangers of drunk and distracted driving Friday in a strikingly authentic mock crash put on by Yarmouth and Dennis police officers and firefighters.

Rescue personnel staged the scene of a fatal crash in front of the school and responded as if it were a real accident. Dennis and Yarmouth police, fire, and EMS personnel rushed down Station Avenue with their lights and sirens on and operated the scene in front of the students.

A number of student actors were pulled from the vehicles, donated by Silver Cloud Towing, and were placed on stretchers and put in ambulances.

“Some people call it scare tactics, but it’s worked for us. I think that’s what’s important, we get the message out,” said Yarmouth Fire Lt. Bob Reardon. “However we reach them, whatever it takes, we have to do what we have to do.”

“If we only reach one or two people, we’ve done our job,” Reardon said.

Officers gave one of the acting drivers a field sobriety test before arresting him.

During the drill, one of the passengers was pronounced dead at the scene. A tarp was placed over the vehicle, follow by the arrival of a Hallett Funeral Home hearse.

Students then watched as the victim’s body was then transported in a bag to the hearse.

“It gets a little more somber when the hearse comes,” Reardon said of the reaction he sees from students every year. “It sets the part.”

After the crash scene, students went back inside and listened to a presentation from various public safety officials about safe driving and the dangers of impaired or distracted driving.

“Even though the [mock crash scenario] is drunk driving, we try to impress upon them the dangers of angry driving or texting while driving. They say that your vehicle is basically a loaded weapon. You could kill people with it very simply,” Reardon said.

The event has been put on for 22 straight years and was initially started by Yarmouth Fire Lt. Paul Holmquist. Lt. Reardon has spearheaded the event since Lt. Holmquist’s retirement.

“I’m grateful that we have the support of the community. It’s a huge commitment for everyone to do it,” Reardon said.

By MATT McCARTHY, NewsCenter

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