Editor, I would like to publicly thank Capt. David Edwards of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office for his efforts with Operation Safe Prom at Liberty County High School. He coordinated a very meaningful event to teach our juniors and seniors who would be attending prom about the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or choosing to ride with someone in an impaired condition.
The importance of wearing a seatbelt while driving or riding in an automobile was also emphasized. Students were able to view a simulation of a vehicle rolling over and the difference a seatbelt makes under those circumstances. They also were able to see firsthand how the fire department, emergency medical teams and coroner handle a serious accident scene with injuries and a fatality.
Students had the opportunity to see what it feels like to drive while in an impaired state and realize the dangers associated with delayed reaction times when they attempted to drive a golf cart through an obstacle course while wearing “DUI” goggles.
After the event, many students commented on the positive impact Operation Safe Prom had on them, and they signed a pledge card vowing to make smart choices during prom weekend that would help them stay safe and healthy.
An event this large requires the efforts of many people. Capt. Edwards, who had the support of Sheriff Steve Sikes, received help from a number of agencies and people, and we would like to thank them for their help in making this event so successful.
Coastal Auto Parts provided the wrecked vehicles that made the simulation so realistic for students. Personnel from the Hinesville Fire Department demonstrated the use of extraction procedures such as the Jaws of Life at an accident scene. Liberty County EMS demonstrated the triage and treatment that accident victims receive, and our county’s coroner showed students how a fatality is handled at an accident scene. The Air Evac Life Team was there with its helicopter to airlift our “injured” driver and to answer students’ questions as they looked at the helicopter afterward. Officers from the Georgia State Patrol Governor’s Office of Highway Safety showed a rollover simulation and discussed the impact of wearing seatbelts at all times. Finally, several officers from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department, including Liberty High’s School Resource Officer, Don Moody, spoke with students and coordinated the impaired driving experience.
I hope that I have included everyone who was involved, and I apologize if I omitted anyone’s name, as we truly appreciate everyone’s involvement.
I am pleased to say that all of our students returned to school safely after prom weekend. I truly believe that for many, Operation Prom Safety had a great impact and that they made wiser choices because of the experience. Thank you again to Capt. Edwards and his many helpers for a job well done.
— Paula Scott,
principal, Liberty County High School