BRCC program offers glimpse into underage drinking, drug use

Life on the streets takes on a whole new meaning when you’re a firefighter/paramedic. The streets are where the crashes occur…where poor choices have played out…where teamwork is a must…where split seconds can save a life.

It’s these kinds of life-changing experiences that create the backdrop for a dramatic, gripping program called Street Smart that will be presented to students on Monday, Oct. 5 from 5:15-6:15 p.m. at Blue Ridge Community College in the Plecker Center Auditorium. Street Smart takes teens into the real-life drama experienced by firefighter/paramedics as they work to save the lives of youth who have made poor choices when it comes to underage drinking or using illegal drugs.

Presented in a classroom setting, a team of two certified paramedics walks 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 IV-line being inserted, students can see and feel what it’s like to try to save a life. And what it’s like to be the victim…They learn the stories behind the crashes, they hear the choices that individuals were given, and they see irresponsible actions played out.

Street Smart engages students rather than lecturing or preaching to them. Using factual information, actual medical equipment and demonstrations involving students, the paramedics provide a real-life look at the consequences of irresponsible actions. In addition, students learn to recognize EMS procedures, which may reduce anxiety if they are ever involved in trauma experiences. This is beneficial not only to the patient, but to first responders, 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 Miami-Dade County, Florida, dedicated to reducing teen injuries and fatalities.

“We hope that through our presentation, students come to know the power that comes from making the right choices,” explains Vincent Easevoli, executive director of S.A.F.E. “Whether that’s choosing not to engage in underage drinking or using illegal drugs, or choosing to wear a seat belt…we want them to understand the consequences that come with their actions and the importance and value of their own lives.”

Street Smart is one of more than two dozen community-based alcohol awareness and education programs sponsored by Anheuser-Busch and its more than 600 independent wholesalers across the country to help discourage drunk driving and underage drinking and promote responsible drinking among adults who choose to drink. To learn more about these efforts, visit www.beeresponsible.com.

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