Every 15 Minutes Program to Be Held at Ellsworth High School April 27th [PHOTOS/VIDEO]
On Thursday, April 27th Police, Fire, Rescue vehicles and a Jordan-Fernald hearse will be at Ellsworth High School. There will be no emergency. It is "just" the Every 15 Minutes Program.
When I say "just" in no way do I want to minimize the program and the effect it has on everyone involved, from students, staff to rescue personnel. This program is normally held every 2 years, but the last time it was actually held was in 2018. The 2020 date was canceled because of COVID.
I normally write something about Every 15 Minutes every year during Prom Season. Hopefully the lessons stay with everyone and they won't drink and drive.
Here's what I wrote about Every 15 Minutes in 2014.
I had never heard of Every 15 Minutes, until I was invited to attend in 2014. In conjunction with the Ellsworth Fire and Police Department, Hancock County Sheriff's Department, Jordan Fernald Funeral Home and many more volunteers, Ellsworth High School puts on this sobering presentation.
9 years ago,,in 2014 I spent an emotional day and a half at Ellsworth High School and as Every 15 Minutes unfolded. I wish that every school could see this! It changed me, and I reread what I wrote and watched the video I had goosebumps again. Here's the article from 9 years ago. Please read it! If you have a teenager, please make sure they read it and watch the video!
All participants write a letter to their parents on the 1st night of the program as they stay away from them until they are reunited at an assembly on Friday, April 28th. The letter begins “Dear Mom and Dad, Every 15 minutes, someone in the United States dies from an alcohol related traffic collision and today I died. I never got the chance to tell you….”
9 years ago I was there. Here's my impression of that day
Today was a day that made me cry. I watched the Every 15 Minutes program at Ellsworth High School. I watched children who I knew "die" in an alcohol related accident. I saw their bodies placed in body bags. I saw their principal identify their bodies, and worse, I saw their parents see them, after the Ellsworth Fire Department members placed their bodies in body bags supplied by Jordan-Fernald Funeral Home and I cried. I turned around because I was in pain, and I couldn't bear to watch it anymore. I stopped taking pictures, because I couldn't do it anymore. No parent, should ever have to bury their child.
These pictures are graphic. The staff at Ellsworth High School did a fantastic job making up Sammy Mason, Abby Lynch, Hunter Cote and Tyler Hardwick. Today, Sammy and Hunter died. There will be a funeral at Ellsworth High School tomorrow. Hannah Box was arrested, booked in at Hancock County Jail, and later sentenced to a lengthy jail sentence in front of her friends, classmates and family.
The pictures are graphic, but remember they are all pretend. The emotions on the faces of the students, the first responders and others are real. The tears I shed are real. I called my wife today and told her what happened and broke down crying.
Here's the video I took of the students watching the bodies being removed. They "got it". There wasn't a peep. No nervous laughter, no talking. Just stunned silence
Hug your children, hug your parents. Life is too short. Do your part to make it longer by committing to NEVER, EVER Drink and Drive!
Here are photos from 2018 and 2016. They are graphic, but it is so important that students and parents see them. You can say Don't Drink and Drive until you're blue in the face, but a presentation like this really hits home.