Tuesday, April 23, 2013

This award winning anti-drinking and driving awareness program will be conducted at Floyd E. Kellam High School, Wednesday, April 24 and Thursday, April 25.  "Every 15 Minutes" is a two-day role-playing interactive program involving junior and senior high school students and their parents.  Students learn the results of their decisions in dealing with teenage drinking, personal safety, and making mature decisions.  The Kellam High School community has suffered several untimely deaths of students and alumni over the past several years from vehicle related crashes involving alcohol, speed, distractive driving, and failure to wear seatbelts.  These issues and their consequences have been emphasized in discussions involving this program.


On Wednesday, April 24, at 8:00 a.m., 20 preselected students will be removed from class by the "Grim Reaper" followed by the reading of the students’ obituaries which were written by their parents to the participants’ classes.  At 11:00 a.m., a mock vehicle crash will be staged at the school as first responders provide a realistic response to the tragedy, and where students will view the death of a student. The driver, who is suspected of DUI, will go through the actual sobriety testing and arrest procedures and a funeral hearse will transport the body of a deceased student to the morgue.  A critically injuries student will be loaded aboard the Nightingale air ambulance and transported to Sentara-Virginia Beach General’s trauma center. The "living dead" students go on an overnight field trip visiting the trauma center, the correctional center, the courthouse where a mock court DUI trial will be held.  During their overnight stay at the hotel, the students will write a final letter to their parents.


On Thursday, April 25, at 9:15 a.m., students will attend an assembly to watch a music video which will be compiled from footage of events from the first day of the program—a mock crash, visit to the morgue and trauma center.  Sensitive letters written by the parents to their child and by students to their parents about their tragic untimely death and the effects on their lives will be read.  By the end of this assembly, you will witness tears and a silence in the auditorium from the audience.  This has been the past reaction of students, parents, and police officers that have experienced the "Every 15 Minutes" program.


This program is the result of months of coordination by the VBPD Crime Prevention Unit involving the Police and Fire Departments, Emergency Medical Services, Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney, Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, Kellum-Smith and Williams Funeral Home, the Oceanfront Inn, and GEICO Insurance and several other partners.


If media personnel choose to attend the events at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, they must contact Dale Gauding with Sentara Corporate Communications at 455-7118 (office) or 615-4718 (cell), E-mail


Traffic Advisory: Nimmo Parkway will be closed for northbound traffic from Princess Anne Road to Holland Road from 8:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. so that the program can take place.  Motorists can access Holland Road from the Municipal Center by travelling east on Princess Anne Road to the intersection of Princess Anne Road and North Landing Road.  Take a left turn on Princess Anne Road, and then a left turn onto Holland Road.