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Benicia Police Department
Thursday April 8th, 2010 :: 02:46 p.m. PDT


"Every Fifteen Minutes" Program at Benicia High School, April 13th and 14th

Benicia High School will be conducting its 6th "Every 15 Minutes" program on Tuesday, April 13th, and Wednesday, April 14, 2010. The program is designed to raise the awareness of teens to the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other controlled substances. "Every 15 Minutes" derived its name from the fact that every 15 minutes someone in the United States dies from an alcohol related traffic collision. The last presentation took place at Benicia High School in 2008.

The "Every 15 Minutes" program is being co-sponsored by the California Highway Patrol and has financial and volunteer support of the Benicia Police, Fire and Community Services Departments, Sutter-Solano Hospital, Passalacqua Funeral Home, local businesses and service clubs, and the Parent-Teacher Association.

The program has been offered at many high schools across the state of California since 1991 with overwhelming success.

A major part of the "Every 15 Minutes" program is a simulation of an alcohol-related accident scene. Benicia High School will simulate its accident scene at Drolette Stadium at approximately 10:57 A.M. on Tuesday, April 13th.

The reenactment will include a 9-1-1 call that will be broadcast over the school's public address system and the resulting response by the Benicia Police and Fire Departments, the California Highway Patrol, and other emergency vehicles including a medical evacuation helicopter.

Members of the media are invited to view this event. Please coordinate your attendance through Lt. Mike Daley, who can also be reached via email at

Patti Baron, the Benicia Police Department's Volunteer Coordinator and Youth Action Coalition Coordinator, is one of the co-chairs for this event. Patti is available for comment at (707)746-4268. Also available for contact is Lt. Michael Daley at (707)590-4259 or Benicia High School Vice Principal Ron Wheat at (707)748-2756.


7:15 AM Volunteer Check-in Benicia High School, Main Office

7:30 AM Early Briefing-Command Post-Classroom Z

8:00 AM Program starts

· Liberty High School students pulled from class

· Benicia High School students pulled from class

· Parent Death Notifications begins

· Moulage begins

10:30 AM Late Briefing-Command Post

· Move “Living Dead” to stadium

10:57 AM Collision Simulation Commences

11:42 AM Collision Simulation Ends

· “Living Dead” remain until students leave stadium

· Return “Living Dead” to Student Center

12:00 Noon Retreat Center Opens

· “Living Dead” shuttled to retreat facility

· BHS students continue to be pulled from class

· Parents death notifications continue

4:00 PM Student Retreat

7:00 PM Parent Retreat-Heritage Presbyterian Church

Wednesday-April 14th Assemblies


Every 15 Minutes

Life's lessons are best learned through experience. Unfortunately, when the target audience is teens and the topic is drinking and driving, experience is not the teacher of choice.

The Every 15 Minutes Program offers real-life experience without the real-life risks. This emotionally charged program, entitled Every 15 Minutes , is an event designed to dramatically instill teenagers with the potentially dangerous consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This powerful program will challenge students to think about drinking, using drugs, personal safety, and the responsibility of making mature decisions when lives are involved.

During the first day events the "Grim Reaper" calls students who have been selected from a cross-section of the entire student body out of class. These are students who are considered leaders on campus. One student is removed from class every 15 minutes . A police officer will immediately enter the classroom to read an obituary which has been written by the "dead" student's parent(s) - explaining the circumstances of their classmate's demise and the contributions the student has made to the school and the community. Simultaneously, uniformed officers will make mock death notifications to the parents of these children at their home, place of employment or business. The students will not return to class, but will appear as the "living dead," complete with white face make-up, a coroner's tag, and a black Every 15 Minutes T-shirt at the staged collision scene presented that morning.

A simulated traffic collision will be viewable on the school grounds. Rescue workers will treat injured student participants. These students will experience first hand, the sensations of being involved in a tragic, alcohol-related collision. The coroner will handle fatalities on the scene, while the injured students will be extricated by the jaws-of-life manned by Fire-Fighters and Paramedics. Police Officers will investigate, arrest, and book the student "drunk driver". Student participants will continue their experience by an actual trip to the morgue, the hospital emergency room, and to the police department jail for the purpose of being booked for "drunk driving".

At the end of the day, those students who participated in the staged accident as well as those who were made-up as the "living dead" will be transported to a local hotel for an overnight student retreat. The retreat will simulate the separation from friends and family. A support staff of counselors, trained volunteers and police officers will facilitate the retreat.

During the most powerful program of the retreat, the students will be taken through an audio - visualization of their own death. Then each student will write a letter to his or her parents starting out with . . .

"Dear Mom and Dad, every fifteen minutes someone in the United States dies from an alcohol related traffic collision, and today I died. I never had the chance to tell you......."

Parents will also participate in a separate retreat and be asked to write similar letters to their children. These letters will be shared the following day when students and parents will be reunited at a school assembly.

The students will engage in various bonding exercises and some fun and games. Impaired simulator goggles will be used to allow students to experience firsthand the potentially fatal consequences of alcohol and drug impairment. The goggles will allow students the opportunity to understand the dangers of impaired driving without taking a drop of alcohol or using drugs of any type. Research shows that those who learn from hands-on experience retain two to four times more than those who learn from just listening, or from listening and seeing.

On the following morning, an assembly will begin with a video of normal school day activities including scenes from the first day of the "Grim Reaper" and the staged accident. The assembly will be hosted by project coordinators, who will guide the audience through the devastating effects of losing a loved one due to a bad choice. Speakers will include students who will read letters to their parents, police officers, and hospital personnel who shared their emotional trauma of dealing with kids killed in accidents. Parents will share their personal reflections of their involvement in this program. We will also have a powerful speaker who actually lost a child to a drunk driver.

The focus of the assembly stresses that the decision to consume alcohol and drugs can effect many more people than just the one who is drug impaired and drives. This very emotional and heart-wrenching event will illustrate to students, the potentially dangerous consequences of their use of alcohol, regardless of how casual they believe their use may be.

This event includes the participation of our Police and Fire Departments, High School Staff, Local Hospital, Video Production Crew, Community Officials, District Attorney's Office and a wide cross-section of the community at-large. It is our goal to utilize the strength, talent and resources of business and industry to prevent driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Benicia Police Department
200 East L Street
Benicia, CA 94510

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-745-3411

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