In Washington County

Caregivers help teens understand consequences of drinking, texting while driving

For the past several months, Jill Becker, Al Davies, Cindy Rogers and Dr. James Heinzen of Aurora Medical Center in Washington County have been working closely with the Slinger School District and community partners to prepare for the rollout of "Every 15 Minutes," a real-life experience without the real-life risks.

The emotionally charged program is an event designed to dramatically instill teenagers with the potentially dangerous consequences of drinking alcohol and texting while driving. Statistics show every 15 minutes a teen dies from exactly this activity.

On Thursday, May 10th, the planning was complete and the event began with a "deadly alcohol related car crash on prom night" that actually took place adjacent to the football field in Slinger mid-day witnessed by the entire student body.

As part of the experience, some of the "victims" were brought to the hospital by ambulance and managed in our emergency department with Flight For Life transporting others from the crash site to the hospital. Actual parents were part of the exercise and told the fate of their sons or daughters as were their best friends, teammates, girlfriends or boyfriends as the "real-life" scenarios played out.

Kudos to everyone involved in this important project aimed at making our community a safer place to live and protecting our most important commodity - our children.

You can go to the website www.every15minutes.com to learn more about this educational experience and the impact it has had on those who have gone through it.