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RescuEd teaches teenagers respect for the road

Published: 14th March 2006

Schools throughout NSW can now access the latest in road safety education thanks to the NSW Fire Brigades initiative called RescuEd.

The program, which targets Year 9 and 10 students, is aimed at reducing the number of young people injured and killed on NSW roads.

Minister for Western Sydney Diane Beamer, launched the program at Kingswood High School in Sydney’s west on Friday 10 March 2006 with senior members of the NSW Fire Brigades, and firefighters from Penrith Fire Station.

"We believe the RescuEd program will have a powerful impact on teenagers because they will learn about the tragic consequences of motor vehicle accidents first-hand from firefighters who have had to cut young people out of car wrecks," Ms Beamer said.

NSW Fire Brigades firefighters from 165 rescue accredited fire stations are able to deliver RescuEd at high schools in Sydney and regional NSW. The program, which runs over 1.5 hours, features:

  • the video ‘Tim’s Story’ about wheelchair bound accident victim Tim Rafton (the son of a NSW Fire Brigades firefighter), who was injured in a serious accident when he was 17;
  • firefighters demonstrating a motor vehicle rescue; and
  • a discussion between students and firefighters of the causes and consequences of road accidents and the steps students can take to reduce the chance of being involved in one.

"The program specifically targets Year 9 and 10 students so they learn about the reality of horrific accidents before they get behind the wheel," Ms Beamer said.

"It is about encouraging respect for the road and responsible behaviour behind the wheel."

Ms Beamer said people aged under 26 represented just 15% of drivers but were involved in 36% of all road deaths.

"Roads and Traffic Authority statistics show that from 1999 to 2003 a total 1017 people died in accidents involving drivers aged under 26," Ms Beamer said.

"The RescuEd program, developed by the NSW Fire Brigades in consultation with the Department of Education and Training, is designed to impress on students that people their age frequently die in road accidents, but they can avoid becoming a statistic themselves."

Ms Beamer said the NSW Fire Brigades attended around 2500 motor vehicle rescues during 2004/05.

"Firefighters see first hand the deaths, injury and destruction road accidents can cause. Too often they are called to accidents involving young people killed or injured as a result of speeding, peer pressure or lack of experience," Ms Beamer said.

RescuEd is based on the Queensland Fire and Rescue Authority’s Road Accident Awareness Program (RAAP) where the program is believed to have contributed, along with other road safety initiatives, to a 30% drop in road accident injuries and deaths.

If you would like more information on the RescuEd program, please contact your local fire station or go to the RescuEd page of the NSW Fire Brigades' website.