Operation Head-On: a sobering reality check



It’s a wonderful time of year and an awful time of year at the same time. With prom and seniors in high school celebrating their accomplishments and accolades in a public school system, we are also reminded of those who make poor choices and take celebration and merry making too far.

Last week, all juniors and seniors participated in  “Operation Head-On”.  The ideas was from a former student who now volunteers as an EMT in town.  The ideas was simple: stage a motor vehicle accident with students from the high school and show the process and people involved in a crash resulting from drunk driving.

Volunteer students donned make-up and scads fo stage blood, and positioned themselves as if they were ejected from a car.  The one car had the window cut out to show the importance.  Over a PA system, they played a faux transmission of how the call came in from 911 and had police, fire, and EMS dispatched.  To simulate real time, no emergency vehicles were on scene and took the actual time to respond.  The minutes appeared to be forever.  Students were sitting in silence.

The officer first responded and checked to see if there were any survivors; the driver survived, and wasn’t really hurt, so he was pulled to an area where he could take several sobriety tests.  Every student sat in silence as the drunk senior attempted to pass these tests.

While the testing was occurring, about 6 firetrucks arrived and one began to use the ‘jaws of life’ to break down the car and get the other survivors out of the car.  EMT’s also arrived (about 4 EMS trucks) were treating survivors and loading them onto ambulances.

At one point, EMS requested a helicopter to take a student to the nearest hospital.   We were fortunate enough to have secured a helicopter land on the high school field and join the other apparatuses on scene.


Lastly, for effect, a hearse arrived on scene and bagged the deceased senior.  Again, silence.  Some tears.  Looks of horror from the crowd.  And I say good.

The Principal called all students to the gym and read an obituary of the senior.  Once again, silence.

What a fantastic program.  With prom this Friday, I hope the images of what was seen last week stay cemented in their heads for a very long time.

I wish every school would do something like this with seniors.  If you’re in a position of power to execute this, do it.



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