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‘Street Smart’ brings reality to safety campaign

‘Street Smart’ brings reality to safety campaign

Ronny Garcia, “Street Smart” program presenter, simulates placing a breathing tube into 2nd Lt. Niles Tate, 782nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, who plays the role of an automobile accident victim, as Austin Brammer, fellow presenter, looks on. The presentation kicked off the 2018 Holiday Traffic Safety Campaign at Eglin Air Force Base Nov. 7. The program combined slides, video and audience participation to show real-life, often graphic accounts of people who suffered the consequences of driving after using alcohol or drugs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kevin Gaddie}

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The annual Holiday Traffic Safety Campaign was held at the Enlisted Heritage Hall here Nov. 7.

The campaign, presented by the 96th Test Wing safety office, reminds Airmen and civilians about the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not wearing seat belts, texting or e-mailing while driving and distracted driving.

Chief Master Sgt. James Auger, 96th TW command chief, said the campaign was about making good decisions during the holidays.

“The choice to drink and drive can have dire consequences,” he said.  “Please make smart decisions.  I need each and every one of you back after the holidays.  Your leadership needs you back.  Your wingmen need you back.” 

Ronny Garcia and Austin Brammer presented “Street Smart,” an hour-long program that combined slides, video and audience participation to show real-life, often graphic accounts of people who suffered the consequences of driving after using alcohol or drugs.

2nd Lt. Niles Tate, 782nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, was chosen from the audience to portray a car accident victim.  During each step of the process, the instructors related the possible short and long-term scenarios he could face from suffering internal and external injuries.

While strapped to a spinal board and experiencing the simulated poking, prodding and tubes inserted into his body, the Richmond, Va. native felt the reality of the potentially life-changing experience sink in. 

“Going through that really put things in perspective for me,” said Tate, 22.  “I will not drink and drive over the holidays or any other time.” 

Brammer said he wanted the Airmen to leave the presentation knowing there are different ways to enjoy themselves during the holidays.

Garcia hoped the graphic accident scenes left a lasting impression on the attendees.

“We’re here to encourage holiday safety, from a paramedic’s perspective,” he said.  “When poor choices are made, we have to deal with accident victims.  We hope our presentation encourages good, safe choices.  We ask everyone to be good wingmen and take care of each other.”

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