In Saluda, South Carolina, parents are understandably anxious as prom season approaches due to the grave dangers of driving under the influence. First responders are now taking it upon themselves to educate students about the potential hazards and show them what first responders have to do to save lives in the aftermath of a DUI accident.
In a frenzied display, student actors were sprawled across a field during a mock DUI accident, which left Brandy Black shaken. She had lost her son in a car accident in 2020, and witnessing the scene made her realize how many people it takes to respond to such an event.
“I never knew how many people it took to rescue or to respond to a call,” Black said.
This is part of their Prom Promise event to illustrate the consequences of making a single bad decision on prom night. Kattie Hallman, the peer officer for Saluda County EMS, believes that if students knew that their actions did not only affect themselves, they might reconsider going out and driving while distracted or drunk.
During the event, all the seniors observed a genuine simulation of a fatal accident, and Hallman stated that many people put their lives on hold to attend such accidents. The goal of the first responders and the general public should always be to achieve zero incidents.
In South Carolina, troopers have reported 282 fatalities thus far in 2023, with 50% of them being DUI-related. Master Trooper Brandon Bolt, who is also a parent, empathizes with the concern of other parents and urges students to call for help if they find themselves in a difficult situation.
“As a parent, I don’t want to sit up and worry. If you find yourself in a situation, it’s the same speech that my mother gave me, call me, and I will help you,” Bolt stated.
The Prom Promise event’s ultimate goal is to save lives, whether it is a student or an adult. Black stated, “If we can just save one life, whether it’s a student or adult listening, it’s going to be worth our time and effort doing it.”
In conclusion, it is essential to prioritize safety during prom season and make responsible decisions. The first responders’ Prom Promise event is a crucial step in educating students about the hazards of driving under the influence, ultimately reducing the number of fatalities and injuries.