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April 21, 2015 • Headlines

A mock disaster drill took place recently for Jac-Cen-Del school students.
Jac-Cen-Del prom-goers enjoyed doing their own thing and line dancing at the Saint Florian in Osgood Saturday night. Decorated in silver, white and light blue, the theme was “A Night Under the Frost.” The community was invited to a walk-through at the high school gym to see the attendees earlier that night. GARY FRANKLIN PHOTO
The mock disaster scenario was a two-vehicle accident with one fatality and five injured teens. A grim reminder to JCD students not to drink and drive, or partake in any other risky behavior including texting while driving.
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JCD students reminded: Don’t drink and drive
Drill sends scary message

Mary Mattingly

This time of year can be as scary as it is beautiful. Local school administrators will say they always get anxious on the first pretty day of spring. That’s when their young, inexperienced drivers get antsy to hit the road, cruise the countryside or visit friends after school. The fresh spring air fills them with promise, whimsy and abandonment. And, then there are the rites of passage: prom and graduation, and the celebrations that go with them. These too put them behind a wheel.
They hope and pray the teens are careful. Too many adults know a split second decision can have devastating, sometimes fatal consequences.
JCD mock disaster drill


This scene at the parking lot of Jac-Cen-Del looked real, complete with air care helicopter and two dozen firefighters, but fortunately it was a mock drill, and gave Jac-Cen-Del students a visual reminder of what can happen when poor decisions are made.

That was one reason Osgood firefighters worked with the Jac-Cen-Del SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) chapter last Tuesday to present a mock disaster, just before one of their milestones occurred, the junior-senior prom,
The scenario was of a two vehicle accident, with one fatality, and five injured teens. Members from the SADD chapter agreed to act out the scene. Immobile in two crunched cars, they cried and screamed on cue as their peers heard ambulance sirens in the distance, and then watched a slew of volunteer firefighters from Osgood, Napoleon and Delaware race to respond and help them.

“The message is to not drink and drive,” SADD member and mock disaster actress Danielle Robinson said. “We want everyone to make good choices for after prom,” said passenger Sasha Wagner, who wore an unsightly “scar” and had a bloody bone protruding from her leg. Keith Simon, who would later be pulled from the “accident,” and act drunk and unruly, said, “There are other things to do than just drink and drive,” he said is the message he wants his peers to hear.

Osgood police were part of the mock drill. Marshal Eric Roush was one of the first to arrive on the scene, and once pulled from the scene, handcuffed Simon in front of his classmates. It was part of the message—drink and drive, and not only could someone get hurt, but arrested too. “I will treat you with respect, but I will be harder on you guys. I am trying to save your life,” Roush said to the high school students after witnessing the drill. “I want you to treat the vehicle with respect . You can die in it. You have to look out for yourself and for those around you.”

Asst. Fire Chief Kyle Negangard helped coordinate the event. Osgood police, Rescue 69 and STAT helicopter arrived to make the accident as authentic as possible. Negangard was appreciative that most all of the department’s 23 volunteers took off work to be part of it. The accident not only sends a strong visual message to the high school students, but also provides training to the lesser experience firefighters, he said. None of them knew what the scenario would be, not even his father, Sean Negangard, the fire chief, who was also there. The fully equipped firefighters worked the jaws of life, broke car windows, and gingerly moved patients onto stretchers. They all took it very seriously, working efficiently and effectively. “I think it may be going slower today because adrenaline is not in play as much, but that also can cloud your judgment. You have to rely on training when something like this occurs, and keep calm because you know you have a job to do,” Negangard told Ripley Publishing.

JCD mock disaster drill


Osgood Marshal Eric Roush contains an “unruly” student in the car, played by Keith Simon.

Interim principal Brian Fehribach was on the scene, “It is sobering. To watch the looks on their faces when the coroner pulls up…I just want them to make sound decisions.” After the scene was cleared, Negangard gathered the students in a semi-circle, “I see stuff I never want to see….I cut a friend out of a vehicle, as a result of drunk driving. He had third degree burns.” He reminded them it’s not just underage drinking that leads to such accidents. “Texting is more dangerous than drinking. It’s awful what can happen in a split second.”

The mock disaster made an impression on the teens, all who were respectful and quiet as it unfolded. Kelsey Foster said “It was scary,” and classmate Rachel Schwanholt added, “I think this is literally what happens.” Kelsey Bowling, whose dad is involved in the fire department, called it “eye opening.” Dallas Proctor was also impressed with the response, piquing his interest even in firefighting.

Kyle Negangard plugged the department and told the students they are always in need of volunteers, and this is one way to help your community. The Osgood fire department meets on Monday nights. Scott Huffman, a medic and also with the STAT flight, spoke to the kids too, “I hope what we do changes you. I hope you think when you get in a car or behind a wheel.” Firefighter Steven Stepleton, who is also an excise officer, reminded the students of the guardian angel law. It allows minors or others to call for health emergency of a friend without fear of prosecution. “Call 911. You will not go to jail if a friend gets hurt.”

Devota Dean, the SADD sponsor, said she too hopes the teens take the message to heart and was happy to put the extra time into presenting the drill. “You turn on the TV or hear the news and you can flip the remote or turn the page, but with this, you can’t walk away from it. It makes so much more of an impact.”

Pick up this week's edition of the Osgood Journal for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• Murder trial date set: Defense may file for change of venue (front page)
• JCD hires new principal (front page)
• Local World War II veteran passes away, Abell Hooton (front page)
• Line dancing classes begin tonight: New ideas for Sunman park (front page)
• JCD 2015 Prom photos (page 7)
• On The Record from the Ripley County Courthouse (page 6)
• Regional Wrap-Up: Construction wage passes (page 6)
• Local author [Kelsey Timmerman] to speak at Damm Theatre (page 3)
• Local obituaries (page 2)
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