ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – The Anchorage Fire Department, Police Department, Providence Alaska Medical Center and Dimond High School teamed up Wednesday to bring students to the front lines of a mock EMT response to a drunk driving scene through a production called “Every 15 Minutes.
Students from the Drama Department at Dimond High School portrayed different characters who had a car accident where alcohol was involved.
Angie Felland, a senior at Dimond, played a character whose sister was killed in the accident. She said she hopes her classmates will understand the impact impaired driving has on a community.
“So many people and kids in high school these days go to parties and drink and there obviously…there can be death or serious injury that can result,” Felland said. “I think it’s really important to show people the actual result.”
It was the first time the Anchorage School District had hosted the production since 2016. Dimond High School teacher and librarian Kristen Melican-Nevala said she was thrilled to have the simulation at their school this year because it brings to life the grim reality of miners. drink and drive.
“I’ve been here for 26 years and there have been far too many students who have been involved in this, and so I see the reality of it every day,” Melican-Nevala said. “I think kids sometimes think they’re invincible and nothing’s going to happen to them.”
In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 15% of fatal traffic crashes involving drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 involved a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher.
“People who get home safely are just on borrowed time,” said Krista Ralls, trauma program manager at Providence Alaska Medical Center.
Anchorage police said they arrest about 150 impaired drivers each month. Dimond School resource manager Jon Butler said he hopes the simulation will shed light on the consequences of impaired driving.
“What we’re doing here today is spotlighting, or spotlighting the kids, as they head into prom season,” Butler said.
The simulation gives students a realistic view of what happens during an emergency response. The simulation included a sobriety test, rescue attempts, and the characters dying and placed in a body bag.
“Hopefully they really see this for what it really is, and not just another conference,” Felland said. “I hope they see it as, ‘Wow, this can really happen and that’s how it affects everyone involved.'”
King Tech High School also participated in the event on Wednesday by filming the simulation. The school will compile their footage and create a public service announcement to share with the entire Dimond High School student body.
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