Every 15 Minutes

“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…”

That is how students participating in the Every 15 Minutes program begin their letter to their parents, following their simulated “death” resulting from a staged alcohol related fatality collision. The morning of April 24th, 2013, members of the Anchorage Police Department, Search & Rescue Team, Anchorage Fire Department, and the Anchorage School District joined forces to powerfully illustrate the consequences of driving impaired to the students of South High High School.

Every 15 Minutes, is a national program adopted here locally and strives to offer “real-life experience without the real-life risks”. Students, parents and school staff joined rescue workers to stage a realistic, alcohol related traffic collision. During this year's two day enactment, a group of students participated in an impaired driving crash scene reenactment that involved having their parents come out to the scene and be notified their child is deceased. The crash scene is video taped.

The following morning, a memorial service was held at South High School. The entire school turned out to watch scenes from the staged collision, and listen as classmates and parents shared their personal stories of losing a loved one to a drunk driver.

To watch video of this year's Every 15 Minutes Assembly at South High School, click here.

Every 15 Minutes is an incredibly powerful program. It is an opportunity for young people to experience the tragedy and loss that can stem from making bad choices. For more information on the Every 15 Minutes program, go to Wikipedia, or review the 2010 local procedural manual.