STAUNTON — Kate Surratt is working toward her Gold Award — the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive. In doing so, she will hold classes to educate drivers in emergency preparedness.
Surratt is a senior at Grace Christian High School.
In the classes, she hopes to address questions related to mechanical safety, fire safety in emergency situations, car insurance and law enforcement safety. There will be a hands-on part that teaches how to change a tire and use a fire extinguisher and flares.
A Virginia State Trooper, firefighter, an insurance agent and mechanical technician will demonstrate and speak at the class.
“I hope that my classes teach young drivers that safe driving is actually simple if you are aware of the proper way to respond to an emergency situation,” Surratt said. “My classes will provide both a fun and informative environment in order to equip new drivers with knowledge that will keep them safe and hopefully keep other folks on the road safe as well.”
She came up with the idea of a safety course after talking with peers about how they would react in an emergency situation on the road.
“Many of us did not know what we should do if we were in a car accident; I also quickly realized that young drivers do not know how to change a tire or react to many other mechanical-related issues in a car,” she said. “I want to provide teen drivers in our community with the knowledge they need to be confident in any sort of emergency situation on the road. This will not only save teen lives, but lives of other people.”
The classes will be at Surratt Tire and Auto Center in Staunton — 712 Richmond Ave. — on Sept. 17 and Oct. 8 from 1 to 4 p.m., and the classes are free.
“I hope that participants will leave the class with the confidence and tools they need to be safe and smart on the road,” Surratt said. “They will also be leaving with a safety kit for their vehicles to include such items as first aid kits, flares, gloves, emergency blankets, reflective vest, flashlights and glass break and seatbelt cutters.”
She hopes after this fall, the program will continue at Surratt Tire and Auto Center.