'Every 15 Minutes' high school program saves lives

ByChris Bollini Localish logo
Thursday, May 30, 2024
'Every 15 Minutes' saves lives
Windsor High School student watch a dramatic car crash reenactment.

WINDSOR, Calif. -- More than 1,700 Windsor High School students sit on bleachers watching first responders arrive at a two-car crash.

This dramatic reenactment has been staged as a poignant part of the 'Every 15 Minutes' program.

"The statistic every fifteen minutes comes from how often someone dies due to a drunk driving car accident," lead student coordinator Cortney Payne reveals.

"That is a real statistic. It's scary and our students need to know that and understand what could happen," Windsor High School principal Danielle Buckman adds.

The loud sound of metal tearing echoes through the open space as fire officials use the "Jaws of Life" to extract an injured person from a capsized car.

"When you talk about it, it's just like a conversation, but when you see it," student volunteer Brooklyn shares, "it just made it more real for me."

An ambulance is now on scene. EMT workers rush to a young women unconscious in a second car. They immobilize her neck and move her onto a gurney.

"You are showing a whole bunch of students that go out and party that driving under the influence is something you shouldn't do and it could be really serious," student Mia says.

"It's so important for them to see what can actually happen during these accidents and to people that are involved in them," Sonoma County Fire District Community Outreach member Karen Hancock states.

As the demonstration continues, the deafening sound of a helicopter rotor is introduced into the mix. Sonoma County's helicopter unit, "Henry 1" lands ready to airlift a critically injured passenger to a nearby hospital.

"All the public safety agencies that would be responding to a car scene on any given day are all here making this as real as possible," Hancock explains.

A corners van removes a passenger that did not survive the fictitious crash.

"This is something that really happens. One day, you come in and sit next to your friend in calculus. The next day, they are not there and they never will be again," student volunteer Julia confesses.

This reenactment is only one part of the two-day program designed to raise awareness of a very important message: "don't, drink, and drive."

"If they are faced with a difficult decision, they will be able to look back at this moment and really think about it and make the right decision," Payne says.

"We hoping that just by seeing this, experiencing this, we can save at least one life," Hancock reveals.

For more information about the program, visit here.