Owensboro Health Regional Hospital hosted students from Owensboro High School at the Ghost Out, an annual event to deter impaired driving.
The Ghost Out program was originally developed by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety to bring an understanding of the consequences resulting from impaired driving. The all-day event simulates an impaired-driving crash involving students on prom night. Participants included Owensboro Police Department, Owensboro Fire Department, Yellow Ambulance, Air Evac flight ambulance, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital Trauma Services, Daviess County District Court and the Daviess County Detention Center.
The accident scene depiction took place in the back parking lot of Owensboro High School, where students watched how extrication and rescue efforts are carried out by first responders. The event was kept secret until the day of, so that students are surprised much like they would be in the event of a genuine tragedy.
“This event is important for a number of reasons,” said Owensboro Public Schools Public Information Officer Jared Revlett. “One decision can change not only your life, but possibly the lives of many others, and this really puts it in perspective for the students.”
Owensboro Health hosted students in its Emergency Department, where a simulated trauma case was reenacted with student participation as victims. They experienced first-hand what occurs in the trauma bay when people in impaired-driving crashes are injured or lose their lives. Owensboro Health staff also participated by playing various roles. Some, such as doctors, nurses and techs, acted out their jobs. Others play the role of distraught family members.
Dr. Tony Decker, medical director of Owensboro Health Regional Hospital Trauma Services, has been one of the actors in the Ghost Out in recent years. Dr. Decker said the goal is to stop students from driving impaired by showing them just a glimpse of what happens.
“I’m glad we have so many people willing to help with this, and I’m always proud to be involved with it,” Dr. Decker said. “If we impact even one or two and prevent themselves from getting hurt, that’s a win. That’s what keeps me going, knowing that we’re helping.”
The Ghost Out took place on Thursday, April 26. The event began at Owensboro High School in the back parking, with events later moving to Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.