Published 2:55 am Friday, October 13, 2017

Wreck staged  to teach teens texting, driving dangers

Florala High School students watched closely Thursday as members of the Florala Fire and Rescue Department attempted to pry three bodies from a fatal wreck next to Florala High School.

An air ambulance arrived. So did a hearse.

It was all a part of a mock wreck staged to show students the dangers of texting and driving.

Florala Fire and Rescue teamed up with other local first responders to give the high schoolers a look at the potential consequences of mistakes made when distracted and driving.

The scenario started with two vehicles in a fake collision, with three volunteer “victims” covered in fake blood.

Florala Police Department responded to the scene first, followed by local EMS, and finally Florala Fire and Rescue.

“This is first year we have done this, but we are hoping for many more,” Mike Cheshire, Florala Fire Chief, and main organizer of the mock wreck, said.

Opp Fire Chief Cory Spurlin spoke to students, explaining step by step as the Florala Fire and Rescue members attempted to save an entrapped woman.

“Keep your mind on what you’re doing at all times,” Chief Spurlin warned the teens, “A text is not worth your life.”

Cheshire shared a real life story with students about an incident in which teenagers died as a result of texting and driving. He said he plans to push for a yearly mock wreck, either around homecoming – like this week in Florala – or prom week.

“It’s important to grasp the reality of it, it’s a very serious thing,” Cheshire said.

The scenario featured two patrol cars, from Florala Police Department; two fire trucks, from Florala Fire and Rescue; two ambulances, from Haynes Ambulance; one hearse, from Evans Funeral Home; one life flight helicopter, from Okaloosa MedFlight; and two vehicles donated by the Florala Auto Service.