Tag Archives: Every 15 minutes

Every 15 Minutes Returns to Burroughs in April

On Thursday April 21, 2016 the California Highway Patrol, in conjunction with John Burroughs High School, will be conducting a simulated drunk driving collision as part of the Every 15 Minutes program.

Photo from the last time the event was held at Burroughs High School (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Photo from the last time the event was held at Burroughs High School (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The collision will be staged on the street in front of John Burroughs High School and will begin at approximately 10:30 a.m. The mock collision will take place for approximately one hour; however, the roadway will be closed for several hours to allow for scene set-up and breakdown.

During the mock collision there will be a high concentration of emergency vehicles in the area. It is important that the public is aware this is a mock emergency incident and that no real emergency actually exists.

Every 15 Minutes is a two-day program, which demonstrates to high school students the impact drinking, and driving has on friends, families, and their community.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson © )

The student student body of Burroughs witnessed the last time the Every 15 Minutes presentation was made (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The first day of the program is highlighted by the simulated traffic collision that will be conducted at the high school involving an impaired teenage driver and fatally injured victims.

The event includes emergency responses from police, fire, ambulance, coroner, public works, and tow truck companies just as actual collision would require. The program will conclude with a mock funeral and assembly for students on April 22nd, 2016.

The California Highway Patrol conducts this event with support from the City of Burbank, Burbank Police Department, Burbank Fire Department, and the Michael Hastings Family along with many other community partners and affiliates.

Every 15 Minutes – From the Students View

Editor’s Note: The Every 15 Minutes presentation was made at Burbank High School last week which is intended for high school students to see the dangers of drinking and driving – especially at prom time.  We asked Janae McGee, an Editor at the Burbank Bulldog, to cover the event for us. myBurbank Photographer, Edward Tovmassian, who is also a Burbank High Senior, shot pictures along with myBurbank’s Chief Photographer, Ross A. Benson. Benson has covered many of these real life tragic events over the years.

By Janae McGee
Special to myBurbank

Later part of last week, Burbank High School had been participating in the Every 15 Minutes Program, which seeks to add awareness to and help to prevent underage drunk driving.

To begin the program, an announcement was made every 15 minutes that announced the fake death of a student. The students that had died ranged from football star James Williams to next year’s ASB President Dani Ryan. All of the students “deaths” were caused by drunk driving.

The program was then in two parts. The first part on Wednesday closed down Third Street and reenacted a car crash with Burbank High students. Senior Kyle Alvarez was “drunk” and caused the crash, which ended up “killing” two students, injuring two more, and injuring a teacher on his bicycle as well.

(Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

(Photo By Edward Tovmassian)

Principal Michael Bertram stoically watched the scene. “As sobering as it was, it went off fantastic,” Bertram said while wiping a tear. “I really hope the message that was sent really resonates with kids. It’s hard as an adult to reach kids and to get them to understand.”

The second part of the 15 minutes program was an assembly for juniors and seniors. All of the students that had been announced dead sat on the stage while a movie showed an in-depth look and the car crash from the day before.

Parents came and talked about a car crash that had killed two of their sons. Students that had written obituaries and letters to their parents read them aloud and it was a silent and emotionally charged event.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Alvarez, who was the person that was drinking in the simulated car crash, is known at school at school as a partier. The 15 minutes program greatly affected him. “I was life changing,” Alvarez said, “I will never drink and drive and I will never get in a car with someone who has been drinking.”


Janae McGee
The Burbank Bulldog

Foundation To Fund “Every 15 Minutes” Program

The Burbank Police Foundation (BPF) has announced that they will lead fundraising efforts for an “Every 15 Minutes” program at a High School in the Burbank Unified School District.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson ©2013)

It is hopeful that the program can help students think twice before ending up in a situation like this that occurred last year (Photo by Ross A. Benson ©2013)

“This program can save lives,” said Michael Hastings, Burbank Police Foundation President. “After what our community has lost recently, we (the BPF) decided that we want to do everything we can to keep this kind of tragedy from happening again.”

Hastings went on to say that he understands the Burbank Unified School District operates under a tight budget, and that the BPF wants to alleviate any financial burden from them to get this important program implemented as soon as possible.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson © )

(Photo by Ross A. Benson © )

The Every 15 Minutes Program is a two-day event designed to dramatically instill teenagers with the potentially dangerous consequences of drinking alcohol and texting while driving. This powerful program challenges students to think about drinking, texting while driving, personal safety, and the responsibility of making mature decisions when lives are involved.

On the first day of the event, students are removed from the classroom and costumed with make-up, a coroner’s tag, and a black Every 15 Minutes t-shirt. They are no longer able to interact with the other students because they have become “victims” in an alcohol-related collision. Officers make death notifications to the parents at their home or place of employment or business. The students gather to view a simulated traffic collision. Rescue workers treat the injured students and the coroner removes the fatalities from the scene. Police officers investigate, arrest, and book the student “drunk driver.” The students, who actually participate in the staged event, are transported to the hospital, morgue, and/or police station. The “drunk-driver” attends a court session.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson © )

(Photo by Ross A. Benson © )

On the second day, the entire 11 and 12th grade student body attends an assembly for a simulated memorial service. The students view a video of the first day’s events. Speakers include students, who read letters to their parents; police officers; and hospital personnel, who share their emotional trauma of dealing with kids killed in collisions. The focus of the assembly stresses that the decisions to consume alcohol can affect many more people that just the one who drinks. This very emotional and heart-wrenching event illustrates to students the potentially lethal consequences of alcohol use, regardless of how casual they believe their use to be. The program depend on the participation of the Police and Fire Departments, high school staff, local hospitals, video production crew, community officials, District Attorney’s officer and a broad cross-section of the community.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson © )

(Photo by Ross A. Benson © )

“We really care about our community; and we believe this program will make a difference,” said Hastings.