Shattered Dreams aims to save lives
Middle Park High School (MPHS) held a Shattered Dreams event featuring local students roleplaying a fatal crash scenario at the high school with help from several local first responder agencies and a medevac helicopter. The event was put on by the MPHS EMT High School Class; a program conducted through Grand County EMS.
“The shattered dreams program this year really was an excellent job done by the senior high students of our EMT class,” said Grand County EMS Chief Ray Jennings. “They put it all together. They did an awesome job.” Chief Jennings highlighted the purpose of the Shattered Dreams events. “We are really trying to reach our young drivers about distracted driving,” he said. “Whether that is impairment of alcohol, drugs or texting.” Chief Jennings was quick to point out the rise of texting related accidents in the modern era. “In our world today we see more from texting. If we prevent one accident we have made a difference.”
Middle Park High School Principal Thom Schnellinger echoed Jennings’ comments. “That was really great work on the part of the EMS folks and our EMT class,” he said. Schnellinger also highlighted the efforts of Katharyn Woodard, lead instructor for the EMT High School Course at MPHS, and a school alumna. “This was an all around great teaming of the agencies and I want to thank them all,” Schnellinger said before going on to highlight the work of local fire departments and the helicopter team as well. “It was neat for the kids and I couldn’t have been more thrilled. It was well received.”
The event kicked off at 2:40 p.m. Thursday May 12 with an emergency announcement over the MPHS intercom system. Students filed outside to North 2nd Street in Granby to view the mock scene that include two vehicles, a “deceased” and “critically injured” patient as well as an “impaired” driver who was at fault in the scenario.
Portraying the deceased and critically injured students were Rowen Gallagher and Juliet Shams, respectively. “It was really cool to be able to show a different side of the accident scene people don’t usually see, the side that the person there is somebody’s friend, somebody’s sister or brother… This does happen to people we know.”
Rowen helped coordinate with the Granby Police Department for the event and also underwent applications of moulage makeup, used for simulating causalities and trauma. Senior Juliet Shams portrayed the critically injured patient for Shattered Dreams. “Honestly it was an honor to be able to participate in Shattered Dreams. I believe we raised some extreme awareness for the issues of drinking and riving and the poor decisions that high schoolers make quite often. It felt honorable to be a part of that. It makes you reflect and think of the decisions you make and how it will affect others. Doing this project made me realize that life is truly short.”
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office, the Grand County Coroner’s Office and the Granby Police Department also aided in the roleplaying event. After the scenario was completed a brief assembly was held with speakers including Granby Chief of Police Bill Housley. “I spoke to them about some of the realities of the life long emotional consequences, as well as legal consequences, of an incident such as that had it been real,” Chief Housley said. “There are devastating life changing consequences from experiencing an event like this. Hopefully the experience made a difference. I strongly believe it did. Hopefully it causes young people to think before they act.”
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Diane Howell, 77, only leaves her house right now for errands and essentials. As part of the age group considered most vulnerable to COVID-19, she’s felt isolated as she avoids most social interactions.