Every Fifteen Minutes Fountain County

It is the great honor of the Coroner’s Office to Chair the Fountain County Every Fifteen Minutes Program. 

In the 1990s there was a drunk driving related fatality every fifteen minutes in the United States. As a result the California Highway patrol began an immersive program for high school juniors and seniors to show the dangers of drunk driving and the impact that it can have on families and communities. As of 2018 statistics that number has decreased to one death ever approximately 50 minutes.

Fountain County participated in this program in the late 90s and early 2000s but circumstances changed and the program was placed on the back burner. In 2019 the program was reignited by the Coroner’s Office to also include distracted (texting) driving.

The program includes all levels of emergency services that would normally participate in a motor vehicle fatality, as well as funeral directors, clergy, grief counselors, school administrators, circuit court staff, prosecutor’s staff, and other local officials.

Each year the program is presented to one of the three high schools on a rotating basis. Each program begins on day one by removing a student participant (chosen by school staff and with the approval and participation of parents or guardians) and declaring that the have died in a motor vehicle crash. This will continue throughout the morning on a fifteen minute schedule until lunch. After lunch a mock crash occurs where all juniors and seniors are allowed to watch what happens during a crash and how emergency personnel respond and mitigate the situation. A sentencing takes place following the crash in the Court Room. The students are taken on an over night retreat at a local hotel where emergency responders and grief support specialists have the opportunity to talk with students about their experiences. The following day the student participants return to school as the “living dead” having had no contact with family or friends since the beginning of the program and are joined by the remainder of the junior and senior student body for a convocation highlighted by a guest speaker.

The Coroner’s Office along with local police, fire, and EMS bring this program into our schools on a voluntary basis and receive no compensation for participation. It does however cost money to keep the program running. The largest expenses are feeding sixteen hungry students and the cost of the over night retreat. It is with generous donations from local businesses and the Community Foundation that the Coroner’s Office is able to continue our most important mission: to keep young people alive through education!

All donations to the Every Fifteen Minutes Fountain County fund are tax deductible through the generous hosting of the West Central Indiana Community Foundation. Please follow THIS LINK to make your tax deductible donation, and make sure to specify EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES in the subject line.

DONATION LINK:  http://www.wicf-inc.org/donations