RescuED FAQs

What is RescuED?

RescuED is a road safety education initiative of Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) where firefighters with experience in rescue or fire protection at road accidents deliver a road accident prevention program in NSW high schools.

The emphasis is on sharing first hand experiences of the serious consequences of road accidents, and thus guiding young people to reflect on the causes and often tragic consequences of such accidents.

The RescuED program does not contain any emotionally disturbing or shocking material, but provides a forum for discussion and encouraging empathy with other road users.

What does a RescuED lesson involve?

RescuED is a one hour 50 minute presentation involving four activities.

  1. Rescue extrication demonstration and personal introduction by firefighters
  2. Video case study 'Tim's Story' about road accident victim, Tim Rafton
  3. Discussion of the causes and consequences of road accidents
  4. Discussion of steps students can take to reduce the risks of road accidents

What do students do during the lesson? Is there any hands on first aid/rescue?

Students observe a practical demonstration of FRNSW rescue techniques to release victims trapped during road accidents. During the demonstration students are informed about the role of FRNSW at road accidents.

Students do not participate in any first aid or rescue techniques during the presentation as this would involve many hours of training which is beyond the scope of the RescuED program.

At the conclusion of the demonstration, students return to the classroom to view a video, 'Tim's Story', which is a video case study about a real accident victim, Tim Rafton, the son a FRNSW fire officer which includes interviews with Police and emergency service workers as well Tim's family who discuss the impact road accidents have had on them.

Following the viewing of the video, students discuss the causes and consequences of road traffic accidents.

Students are then asked to investigate factors that cause road accidents and consider strategies they and their passengers could use to reduce the chances of them being involved in a road accident.

At the conclusion of the presentation, students and teachers complete an evaluation form. Additional teaching and learning activities that could be used with students following the presentation are provided. These activities are designed to reinforce the key messages delivered in the presentation.

Why target young drivers?

For many young drivers there is a sense of independence and excitement that comes with getting your licence. Unfortunately, every year too many young people die driving.

According to Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) figures, people under 26 comprise only 15% of drivers yet are involved in 36% of all road fatalities. A 17- year-old driver with a P1 licence is approximately four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than a driver aged 26 or older. During the five-year period 1999 to 2003, fatal crashes involving drivers aged under 26 resulted in 1017 fatalities.

In addition:

  • Young males are three times more likely to be in a crash than young females.
  • Young males are three times more likely to suffer fatalities than young females.
  • Young females are more likely to be hospitalised for injuries than males.
  • Young females are three times more likely to be in a crash than older females.

Based upon 1997 figures

Why are young drivers so over-represented in crash statistics?

Research shows that the answer lies in a complex equation of lack of on-road experience and vehicle control skills; under-developed ability to perceive and assess risk; social pressure from passengers and peer group; driving for emotional release, as well as the heavily documented factors of speed and drink driving.

While young people often feel unfairly singled out for road behaviour that is not confined to their age group (witness the speeding, drink driving and lack of handling skills among adult drivers), the statistics nevertheless show that they are seriously at risk.

Key factors influencing the risks to young drivers can be categorised as follows:

  • Perception and assessment of risk
  • Attitudes to driving and behaviour on the road
  • Experience on road and handling skills
  • Awareness of others on road

How will this program make students drive more safely on the road?

Many young adults have the attitude that 'it won't happen to me'. FRNSW believes by being made aware of the consequences of road accidents and the impact they have not just on themselves but everyone else involved, young adults will modify their behaviour.