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Telecom a big part of 'Every 15 Minutes'
Grim Reaper
The "Grim Reaper" at Warwick High.
Photos by: Ray Price

Telecom and Woodside Communications Magnet students and staff worked tirelessly last week to produce a DVD of the powerful educational experience called "Every 15 Minutes."

The national program is a two-day event that simulates a fatal car accident involving students. High school students participate in and view the drama as it unfolds.

Organized locally by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the event requires coordination among police, fire, air ambulance, school, hospital, and other personnel, all of whom have major roles in the enactment.

In the simulation, the car crash is caused by a student driving while impaired, and the name of the program comes from the frequency of accidents caused by the driver being impaired by alcohol.

According to their website, "Every 15 Minutes" is "an event designed to dramatically instill teenagers with the potentially dangerous consequences of drinking alcohol and texting while driving." The program is presented in the days leading up to prom and graduation.

This year, "Every 15 Minutes" was held at Warwick High School May 3 and 4. Telecom students and staff recorded, produced and edited the event for DVD, which becomes part of Day 2 of the program.

Seven TV students participated in the production, along with Telecom Instructional Supervisor Ray Price and Woodside Communications instructor Michael Price. The students operated five cameras at various spots outside Warwick High, including the bucket of the fire department's ladder truck, high above the scene.

The camera operators shot from a number of locations in the city, too, in addition to Warwick High: Riverside Hospital and morgue, Peninsula Funeral Home, Newport News City Jail and the General District Courthouse.

After an all-night editing session at the Telecommunications Center, the DVD was played at the school assembly on the second day of the program. Copies will be distributed to the students and community partners who took an active role in the simulation.

During the event, "living dead” students are selected from class and spend the remainder of the day viewing the consequences of the accident silently: at the hospital, morgue, funeral home, jail, and courthouse. They then must spend the night away from their parents and friends, as newly deceased teens would. On the second day of the program, the junior and senior classes reconvene for the mock funeral of their classmates, and watch Telecom's video production of the events that took place at other locations the previous day.

Among the scenes for Telecom students to video-record were: the "Grim Reaper" selecting students from class; the aftermath of the staged auto crash and response by rescue personnel; the arrest of the impaired driver; the scene at the hospital, courthouse, jail and morgue; and the police making a death notification to the parents of a "deceased" student.

In addition to NNPS-TV, community partners that played a part in the program are: the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Riverside Regional Trauma Center, Newport News Sheriff’s Office, Newport News Police Department, Newport News Fire Department, Newport News Public Schools, Peninsula Funeral Home, LifeEvac Virginia, David’s Towing Service, and the Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association.

"Every 15 Minutes" production:

car crash   paramedics
news
  camera operator
scene
 

camera operator

bucket
 

bucket

camera operator
 

camera operator