A veteran of several Shattered Dreams programs helped coordinate the event for Sachse High School students last week.
Seniors at Sachse High sat through a presentation on the dangers of drinking and driving, saw a mock emergency response and witnessed the response of a victim’s family Monday, April 25, and Tuesday, April 26, during this year’s Shattered Dreams program.
Sachse Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief Lee Richardson has been involved with several iterations of the program since 2001 and has helped coordinate it for many cities and school districts for more than 20 years.
Richardson said his understanding is that there has not been a recent Shattered Dreams event in Sachse, adding the last one took place 15 years ago.
The event is part of the department’s overall mission to make residents aware of risks outside of fires in the community.
“One of Sachse Fire-Rescue’s responsibilities is Community Risk Reduction (known as CRR),” Richardson said. “This not only includes fire-related stuff but also major reasons for 911 calls such as major vehicle crashes, falls, overdoses etc.”
The planning for the event began around three months ago, said Richardson, and involved a number of different organizations in the community. He said multiple departments in Garland ISD and Sachse High School were part of the process along with Trinity Regional Hospital, Charles Smith Funeral Home, PHI Air Medical, Sachse Fire-Rescue and Sachse Police Department.
“Logistics is the hardest part of the program because there are so many moving parts and challenges,” Richardson said. “It is very much a team effort to get it accomplished.”
During Monday’s events, students watched a short video depicting a group of their peers drinking on a school day before realizing they needed to drive to school for an important test. One of the students, who was visibly drunk, drove his car and got into a wreck with two students who were going out to lunch.
When students arrived outside, they saw the scene of the crash and Sachse Police and Fire-Rescue both responded to the scene. The drunk driver of the car was put through a series of tests by an officer including walking in a straight line while counting steps.
Students also witnessed the fatal consequences of drunk driving with one of the passengers being pronounced dead at the scene and several others being treated for serious injuries.
As part of the response, a helicopter from PHI Air Medical was dispatched to the scene and flew one of the victims to Trinity Regional Hospital.
Later in the day, a Grim Reaper would claim the life of a student who would then be dressed in makeup simulating their death. That student would no longer talk the rest of the day and simulated the frequency from which victims of drunk driving are killed.
On Tuesday, students sat through a mock funeral and got a glimpse into what a victim’s family might go through following the loss of a loved one.
While the event is only a performance, the effects can still be profound, said Richardson.
Several parents took to Facebook to commend the program for educating their children about the risks and dangers of drunk driving. The only negative feedback was parents asking for it at other Garland ISD schools and wanting younger students to witness the program.
Richardson said the plan is to bring back the program for another year.
“If this program causes one kid to make a better decision then all the work was worth it,” Richardson said.
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