Every 15 Minutes

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“Every 15 Minutes” is a two-day program focusing on high school Juniors and Seniors in Fountain Valley that challenges our youth to think about drinking, personal safety, driving habits and their responsibility to make mature decisions. Our first presentation occurred at Fountain Valley High School in 1998 and alternates every year with Los Amigos High School. 

The title of the program comes from the fact that every 15 minutes someone in the United States dies in an alcohol-related traffic collision. The Fountain Valley Police Department and the two local high schools work hard to create a lasting memory for the students who will attend their Prom and Grad nights soon after the program presentation. 

Knott’s Berry Farm make-up artists volunteer their time to create realistic injuries on the crash scene participants, and the “Living Dead” (20 students representing a diverse cross section of the study body) have no further contact with their family or friends until the following day after the assembly

 A fatal alcohol-related traffic is re-enacted with Fountain Valley Police and Fire Departments and other agencies responding and working to save those in the crash. One of the passengers is pronounced dead at the scene by the Coroner, and the injured parties are transported to a local hospital. The person responsible for the collision is arrested and booked at the Fountain Valley Police Department. Fountain Valley Police Officers and a Police Chaplain deliver death notifications to the parents of the victims of the “Living Dead”. 

The “Living Dead” participate at a Student Retreat where they share their emotions of the day and write letters to their families. The parents attend a Parent Retreat dinner and also share their emotions of the day and concerns and write a letter to their child.

 The following day a school assembly is held with a video presentation of the events surrounding the re-enacted traffic collision, and the “Living Dead” are reunited with their families.

“Every 15 Minutes” enables students to experience the potential consequences of drinking and driving to build sensitivity and responsibility among students. Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.