Every 15 Minutes Program Brings Back Memories

South San Francisco, Ca    April 7, 2017

The Angel of Death was waiting for victims at ECHS during the Every 15 Minute Program
Photo Credit: Eric Jacobson (Coach Jake)


Officers respond to a vehicle accident to discover lifeless bodies of teenagers during this ‘Every 15 Minute’ program Photo Credit: Officer Ron Clemente SSFPD


South San Francisco Firefighters needed to use the jaws of life to extract the teenagers from this fatal accident during the ‘Every 15 Minute’ program Photo Credit: Officer Ron Clemente SSFPD


Empty alcohol bottles are found in the victims car that caused the fatal accident during the ‘Every 15 Minute’ program Photo Credit: Officer Ron Clemente SSFPD


The impact of this program lasts a lifetime with the intent of keeping DUI off the road.
Photo credit: Officer Ron Clemente SSFPD


7 months of planning goes into creating this program which brings home the reality of drunk driving.
Photo credit: Officer Ron Clemente SSFPD


South San Francisco Police Technicians recover information as part of their investigation as part of this ‘Every 15 Minute’ program Photo Credit: Officer Ron Clemente SSFPD


Every parents worse nightmare was played out as the SMC Coroner dealt with the dead during the ‘Every 15 Minute’ program Photo Credit: Officer Ron Clemente SSFPD


This past Wednesday and Thursday students at El Camino High School participated in the annual Every 15 Minute program that is designed to challenge high school juniors and seniors to think about the consequences of drinking and driving. {MORE HERE}  This program is a collaboration with the California Office of Transportation Safety, the California Highway Patrol, the South San Francisco Fire Department and the South San Francisco Police Department and has shown to have a powerful impact for students and all involved as we can see by our social media post below.

We also appreciate the overview and update from South San Francisco Police Corporal Jason Pfarr:

We are really pleased with this program, we had some really good kids and parents this year. We expect to have a video to share in the near future. 
This ‘Every 15 Minutes’ is an anti-drunk driving campaign aimed at educating high school juniors and seniors about the risks of drinking and driving. We plan this event around Junior Prom and Senior Ball, as these events have the highest concentration of teenage alcohol related traffic collision deaths. The Every 15 Minutes program occurred April 5th and 6th, 2017 at El Camino High School.

The following is what it took to make it happen: 17 student participants, 50+ volunteers, seven months of planning numerous donations from local businesses and a lot of help from the student’s parents.

Each year school staff choose a group of students they think would be a good fit for the program. This is usually extended to students who have shown leadership in their academic and extracuriular activities. The entire production takes about 7 months to plan and complete. The two day event starts with the crash scene reenactment filming in front of the junior and senior classes.

After the crash scene, the participating students go on an overnight retreat. The students listen to a guest speaker from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), go on hikes to the beach and the cliffs of the Marin Headlands. We also have googles the students wear that simulate different levels of intoxication. With the googles on, they try and do normal activities, walking in a straight line, throwing and catching footballs, playing basketball, etc.
The second day is the presentation in front of the entire junior and senior classes. The presentation consists of the video being shown to the students, some educational material and another guest speaker from MADD.


When we inquired on our social media how this program had impacted past participants some neighbors offered their experience:


Angelique Valdez who posted: I will honestly never, ever, ever forget this experience. It was extremely emotional but the image of that mangled car and the REACH helicopter on the football field will never fade. Although it was very intense and there were lots of tears I’m happy that it’s still around and hope it continues. Sending hugs to all the students experiencing this today and tomorrow

Nicole Tucker  shared her experience: I was part of this in high school. I was the girl that didn’t make it. My mom was involved as well. She even came to the hospital and it was so emotional. Real tears! It was incredibly touching.

A mother, Sue Freitas, expresses her experience:  This was the worst/best experience/memory we went thru in my sons senior year. He was the drunk driver. Worst part was writing your sons obituary at age 17. It was so nice that they had counsellors there for us during the whole experience. Cuz we needed it. I’m very excited that they still do this and they haven’t cut it out like other school programs. I believe children do learn from these programs more than classroom lectures.

Because this program has been so well received through the years many were disappointed they were not part of it as shared by the following comments:

Adrienne Mary Masini-Mariscal posted: That Is Wonderful, But I Do think The Whole School Should’ve involved! Juniors & Seniors Are Not The Only Ones Drinking & Driving
Gloria Gonzales wrote At my school not everyone could attend. Which I thought was unfair. I didn’t get to see it

Michelle Brosnan asked Is there a video this year? I’ve seen one before and it’s so powerful.  (Everything South City has checked with SSFPD Corporal Jason Pfarr who has confirmed a video will be made public in the near future, currently it is under production) 

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