Mock accident held at Wm. E Hay Secondary Campus

Stettler first responders ask students 'Don't put us to work'

Warning: this story covers sensitive topics

A scream pierced the rainy May 16 morning.

The 2024 mock accident at Wm. E Hay Secondary Campus in Stettler had begun.

A short time prior, the grads had been called from their classrooms and directed to the school parking lot.

Unbeknownst to them, the grad class would be observing a mock accident put on by members of the Stettler First Responder community.

When the students reached the parking lot, they were greeted by several members of the Stettler Regional Fire Department, including Deputy Chief Brugman.

In the parking lot behind him was a car covered in a blue tarp.

Brugman introduced the students to the scenario, three classmates had been on the road near Rochon Sands when an accident occurred.

The students listened as the tones on the fire department radios went off, indicating an incoming call. In a calm voice, the dispatcher indicated the call the rescuers were being directed to.

The tarp was removed, and the actors went to work.

One of their classmates, Drew, portrayed the driver, who was walking wounded.

A second, Gray, had been "ejected" from the vehicle and lay sprawled across the hood of the white car.

A third, Josh, was out of sight but trapped in the back seat.

As the actors began, the sirens from the staged nearby emergency vehicles went live and seconds later fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars from Stettler's emergency services groups rolled onto the scene.

The grads watched as their classmates were assessed; Gray presumably dead and covered with a blanket, Drew led to the ambulance and then to the police car.

As the fire crews went to work extricating the third student, a firefighter climbed inside the vehicle so he would not be alone.

In around 20 minutes the doors and roof of the vehicle were removed so that Josh could be accessed. He was removed, placed directly onto a spineboard, secured and taken into the ambulance.

Once the injured were taken care of, representatives from Parkland Funeral Services entered the scene and, with the help of the fire crews yet on the scene, removed Gray from the hood of the car and placed her into a body bag before driving away.

A tow truck from Fast Times Towing then moved in to remove the vehicle.

Within 35 minutes the entire scene looked as if nothing had occurred; however, what had been couldn't be erased from the minds of the students, especially with the next part about to unfold.

Once the tow truck was leaving, the grads were directed into the Performing Arts Centre.

The grads watched as one of their own, Drew, was "arrested" for impaired driving.

They listened as a news bulletin was read out about the accident and the subsequent arrest.

There was silence as the various first responders came forward, speaking about the impact of the jobs they do, the overall message from them being "Don't put us to work."

Gray's father came forward and spoke about the loss of his daughter.

Josh wheeled on stage, having been paralyzed in the accident, speaking about his now-changed plans for the future.

Drew spoke about how even though she was "the lucky one," she didn't feel so lucky.

A casket was wheeled on stage as a representative from Stettler Funeral Home & Crematorium spoke and discussed their role when someone dies, and the casket was left in place as Hardy's "Give Heaven some Hell" was played to close the sombre event.

Finally, Principal Myranda Shepherd and Vice Principal Darren Fleischhacker took the stage.

Before dismissing students back to class, the students were asked to make "smart decisions" before the upcoming long weekend.

The design of the mock scenario, from the participants down to the script, was designed to instill in the grads that actions have real-life consequences.

-This story was updated to correct the name of the funeral home. The original story indicated that the funeral home indicated was Parkland Funeral Home when it was actually Stettler Funeral Home & Crematorium. We apologize for the error.

Kevin Sabo

About the Author: Kevin Sabo

I’m Kevin Sabo. I’ve been a resident of the Castor area for the last 12 years and counting, first coming out here in my previous career as an EMT.
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