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Community Effort Brings Realistic Program To Life
Senior Pietro Orlando reads a letter to his mom during the assembly portion of the Every 15 Minutes program as CHP Officer Ruben Jones offers his support. Marg Jackson/The Times
911 call
Junior Emily Vickers, foreground, makes the 9-1-1 call at the scene of a staged accident for Escalon’s recent Every 15 Minutes program, as seniors JP Lial and Soleil Gouzenne check on classmates still inside one of the involved vehicles. Marg Jackson/The Times

It takes months of planning and coordination among several agencies, not to mention funding, to put on the Every 15 Minutes program.

In Escalon, the 2022 edition marked the 10th time it had been presented, starting with the first event staged in 2004 and continuing every two years since that time.

The 2020 Every 15 Minutes in Escalon, eerily enough, was the last event on the high school campus for that entire school year. At the end of that school day two years ago, schools across San Joaquin County – as well as much of the state – were shut down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. What was to be a brief closure instead extended through the end of the 2019-2020 school year and continued in to the start of the 2020-21 school year.

With the gradual lifting of restrictions, officials were able to plan for a 2022 Every 15 Minutes program and it was put on for the Escalon and Vista juniors and seniors on March 3 and 4.

Thursday, March 3 featured the realistic accident scene involving a DUI driver that resulted in two fatalities; Friday, March 4 brought students back together for an assembly that included a viewing of a video from the event along with multiple guest speakers.

Coordinators for the Every 15 Minutes program at EHS this year were parent volunteers Kathleen Gonzalez, Jessica Rozevink and Ryann Smith. They worked cooperatively with school officials, several law enforcement and emergency response agencies including the Office of Traffic Safety, CHP, San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, Escalon Police, Escalon Community Ambulance, Escalon Fire Department and more. Some grant funds are utilized for the program and coordinators said multiple businesses, service organizations and individuals also provided funds or in kind services to help put on the program.

A full story on this year’s Every 15 Minutes was featured in the March 9 issue of The Times. Here are a few more photos from the two-day event.

Emergency crews tend to an injured Mandy Murphy on the scene of a two-vehicle accident, set up along Escalon-Bellota Road near the high school as part of the Every 15 Minutes program. Marg Jackson/The Times
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During the second day assembly portion of the recent Every 15 Minutes program, retired San Joaquin County sheriff’s deputy Chris Stevens provided an alternately humorous and touching presentation for students and parents in attendance. Marg Jackson/The Times