LHS, VSU students participate in Street Smart program

| April 19, 2016

street smart

VALDOSTA – Earlier this month, students from Lowndes High School and Valdosta State University participated in a live Street Smart presentation.

The Street Smart program takes the audience into the real-life drama experienced by firefighter/paramedics as they work to save the lives of individuals who have made poor choices when it comes to non-compliance of seat belts, distracted driving, using drugs, driving impaired or getting in the vehicle with an impaired driver.

Sponsored locally through the efforts of the Governors Office of Highway Safety, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and Johnson Distributing Company, the team of two state-certified firefighter/ paramedics, walk participants through what happens at a trauma scene using the medical equipment they employ daily in their jobs.

From taking a pulse, to loading the victim onto a backboard, to simulating an I-V line being inserted, participants can see and feel what it’s like to try to save a life, and what it’s like to be the victim.  This program is not a “what can happen” presentation; it is a real-life “what DID happen” presentation.

“I think that is why it is so impactful with the students,” said Tim Keller, Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator with Johnson Distributing.

They learn the stories behind the crashes, they hear the choices that individuals were given, and they see the irresponsible actions played out.  Participants come to know the power that comes from making the right choices, from choosing not to drink or use drugs, from choosing to wear a seat belt and they come to understand the consequences that come with their actions and the importance and value of their own lives and how poor choices can impact others.   Featuring photos and descriptions of real-life trauma incidents, Street Smart is a no-holds-barred presentation that gets participants involved.

Paramedics lead a discussion on the importance of participants making responsible decisions concerning their safety that compels them to participate. Street Smart is not a lecture. It is a real-life view of their options.  In addition, participants learn to recognize emergency medical procedures that can help reduce anxiety in a trauma situation, benefiting not only the patient, but also rescue and emergency room personnel.  Street Smart is presented by members of Stay Alive From Education (S.A.F.E.), a non-profit organization created by firefighter/paramedics in Florida, dedicated to reducing injuries and fatalities.

During presentations on April 7, over 600 students from both Lowndes High School & Valdosta State University participated. Worldwide, the program has reached over one million participants with its powerful message when it comes to decisions on distracted driving, impaired driving, drug use and compliance of seat belts.  The leading cause of death and injury among young adults in the United States is from trauma caused by accidents.  Driving behaviors of young adults cause the majority of these accidents.

Young adults are causing many of their own trauma related deaths and injuries.  Stay Alive From Education (S.A.F.E.) presenters of Street Smart is a non-profit organization dedicated to making participants aware of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, not wearing seat belts, and the trauma associated with these dangers. The goal of the S.A.F.E. program is to offer information that will allow participants to make rational decisions concerning their safety and well being, thus reducing injuries and fatalities, giving them the opportunity to become more responsible and remain healthy adults.

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