Get Out Alive!
Did You Know?
Try to imagine:
An individual in a submerging vehicle has mere seconds to react, and the process must be simple and easy to remember. Most people panic, including reporters who have tried to demonstrate the process, even after a training session and with rescue staff standing by.
In June of 2007, 17-year-old Trey Kidwell and his friend Rob found themselves on an unfamiliar county road in Indiana. While Rob texted his mother for directions, Trey rounded a curve and screamed as his car plunged into a state-park lake. They were on a county road, but what they did not know was that this particular road became a boat ramp, without warning, and had been the scene of two previous accidents resulting in deaths. They also did not know how to escape from a sinking vehicle. Breaking the door handle, Rob managed to escape. But Trey, a strong swimmer, drowned as his car filled with murky water and sank to the bottom of the lake. That day in June had been Trey’s first day at his summer lifeguarding job; it was the last day of his life. Trey is my son’s only child, the light of his life. Trey is my grandson. Trey is dead.
Trey is one of approximately 400 people who drowned in 2007 because they could not escape their sinking vehicles. Trey—and the others—are not just statistics. They would have survived if they had known that the most effective method of escape is to get out immediately—through a window. To avoid panic, the escape procedure must be simple, quick, and easy to remember.
There are numerous articles, professional studies, victims’ stories, statistics and other materials from around the world that support these findings. For example:
It is our mission to inform everyone of the proper procedure for escaping a sinking vehicle. This procedure can also be useful in other types of entrapment accidents, and it is easy to learn and remember. In addition, each vehicle should be equipped with a window-breaking tool that can be used in case the windows will not open easily. There are several models of inexpensive hand-held devices on the market.
The procedure and the device are simple, but educating those who are unaware, and dispelling the myths that flood the Internet and other media resources are major projects. Currently, information that is available via the Internet is either confusing or downright incorrect and dangerous. The ordinary Internet end-user often assumes that most information on the web is useful and accurate. It is impossible to correct each inaccurate method individually. I’ve tried!
If everyone works together to educate the public in this simple and effective escape method, we will save lives. If we convince the media to promote only the safest and most effective escape method, we will touch the lives of millions of potential victims. Ideally, we will bring knowledge of this problem and the solution through an international awareness program that includes training sessions, written materials as well as video and professional presentations by experts in this field.