By Deanne Burrell
Guy Fawkes Night has been and gone and we are happy to say that the Brigade was not called out to any fireworks related fires, so well done everybody in the Blueskin Bay community.
We would like to extend a thank you to the Warrington Surf Life Saving Club who challenged us to a game of softball at their recent open day. We would like to think that it was close-fought game but that may be stretching the truth a little. We look forward to another challenge (our choice) in the near future.
The countdown has now started for the Christmas and New Year Holiday Period. We want to see everybody having a safe and joyous time but would like to remind people of a few rules that need to be adhered to if you are planning outdoor fires. We don't like to spoil people's fun but if we are called to an outdoor fire and the correct procedures have not been followed then we are required to extinguish the fire. No fires are permitted on any beaches, The Warrington Domain or any DOC land. Also, no fires are allowed to remain alight after dark except those specifically issued for bonfires at New Year, Guy Fawkes or significant community celebrations.
Last month the brigade attended a motor vehicle accident on the Kilmog where a van had overturned. Injury to the driver from the accident was caused by unsecured items in the back of the van flying forward and hitting him. With the holiday period coming up we would like to reiterate the importance of having all items in your vehicle packed securely and making sure that every passenger is restrained by a seatbelt.
A weightless tissue box, a music CD, a portable iPod, or even a petite pen might not seem like deadly objects. However, they sure can be during the impact time of a speeding motor vehicle crash. When a crash does occur, speed worsens its severity by increasing the energy of the impact. The higher the speed of the vehicle, the more severe the impact during the crashe's secondary collision. The secondary collision is when drivers and passengers make impact with objects inside the vehicle. That object can be a loose item that becomes a dangerous missile during the crash.
When a vehicle and all its contents, including passengers and objects, are travelling at speed, they have inertia which means that they will continue forward in that direction and speed (Newton's first law of motion). In the event of a sudden deceleration of a rigid framed vehicle due to impact, contents that are unrestrained inside the vehicle will continue moving forward at their previous speed. They will impact the vehicle interior with a force equivalent to many times their normal weight. During this frightening situation, a tissue box can transform itself into a heavy brick. It has been cited as the cause of death in at least one crash. And yes a petite pen can turn into a flying arrow or dart.
Thousands of individuals have been severely injured and killed in motor vehicles crashes primarily due to the secondary collision with an unsecured object in the vehicle. So, here is where prevention can be your lifesaver. To avoid these tragic situations from occurring here are some tips to consider:
· Something obvious but should never be underestimated: do not speed; to reiterate, the higher the speed, the heavier the object in a motor vehicle crash.
· Ask yourself if it's a necessity for an object to be inside your vehicle. The more objects inside the vehicle, the greater the chance they can strike victims as flying missiles in a crash; In other words, less is better.
· Secure objects in the vehicle; store them in the glove compartment or boot.
We can all do our part so we do not become targets of flying missiles in crashes.
The Waitati Volunteer Fire Brigade would like to wish all residents of the Blueskin Bay community a verymMerry Christmas and a happy, safe, and prosperous New Year.