‘Street Smart’ drives safety point home at Yokosuka
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Steven lay naked atop a stretcher as two paramedics stuck needles and catheters into his body. Calmly they explained to Steven, as if they were old chums, the reasons for each step they were taking to save his life.
After doing all they could for Steven, the paramedics told him the myriad fractures and breaks he sustained were things he could live with. The bad news was the paralysis. They didn’t try to sugarcoat it.
He wouldn’t be able to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding.
"You’ll be able to go down the aisle but you won’t be walking," they said matter-of-factly.
They told him he wouldn’t be able to throw a football around with his son.
"You’re going to spend the rest of your life watching your life go by," they said.
The scene was played out not on the side of the road, but at Yokosuka Fleet Theater as part of the "Street Smart" program being presented this week at the base.
Street Smart executive director Vince Easevoli said the presentation shows what can happen in a drunken-driving accident and points out that it can all be avoided by using common sense.
"By no means are we saying don’t have a good time, stay at home," Easevoli said. "If anybody needs to go out and blow off some steam, it’s military personnel, but we want them to do it responsibly."
Easevoli said he hopes the way the information is presented — with actual firefighters and paramedics acting out the scenes — is something that sticks with people.
"A lot of people think that when you get in a crash you get picked up in a nice, sterile environment, and you’re taken over and given pain medication, and a couple of days later you go home," he said. "It doesn’t happen that way. ... There’s a lot of pain involved, there are things that are going to happen to you that are going to be very humbling as far as being stripped naked. ... You have no control. When you’re involved in a crash, everything’s taken away from you."
Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Steven Marksberry volunteered to be the victim during Tuesday’s presentation. He thought highly of Street Smart and said he had experienced with what the presenters were talking about.
"Unfortunately, I’ve had first-hand knowledge of that situation before," Marksberry said of an accident he was involved in that was not alcohol-related.
"I’ve been in restraints and ridden in a helicopter. The way they present it by talking to you and using your name over and over makes it unique and very effective."