I would like to take the time to thank all the supporters, volunteers, student and parent participants and my command staff for another successful Every 15 Minutes program. I firmly believe we touched a lot of students last week with our program. It is an honor to live and work in a community that still looks after its youth. As I have always said, there are no statistics that show how many lives we save by this program, but if we can lead just one student to think about his or her choices, we have done our job.
Every 15 Minutes is a two-day program focusing on high school juniors and seniors, which challenges them to think about drinking, driving, personal safety, the responsibility of making mature decisions and the impact their decisions have on family, friends, and many others. The program brings together a broad coalition of interested local agencies with the goal of reducing alcohol-related incidents among youth. The partnering of the California Highway Patrol, local law enforcement, local hospitals, emergency medical responders, schools, businesses and service clubs validates the importance of working together to ensure a healthy community.
The Every 15 Minutes program is very dramatic and emotional — and purposely so. Teenagers are constantly reminded about the choices they have to make involving alcohol and how many others are affected by their decisions. They know the intellectual statistics. However, many teens share the belief it will never happen to them.
Capt. Eddie Thompson, Patterson Fire Department