Community | EastCare | Emergency & Trauma

ECU Health EastCare participated in the impactful Prom Promise initiative, engaging students at both Perquimans County High School and Richlands High School on April 23 and 24, respectively. The objective was clear: to dissuade teens from driving under the influence during prom season through vivid reenactments of motor vehicle accidents.

Before the re-enactment, students were presented with facts about the dangers of drinking and driving. According to Prom Promise’s founding organization The Prevention Network, one-third of all teen deaths occur in alcohol-related collisions between April and June, and nearly 41% of teens ages 16-19 are likely to drink or use drugs during or after prom.

Chuck Strickland, EastCare’s outreach coordinator at ECU Health, expressed the initiative’s goal of leaving a lasting impression on students, steering them away from driving under any form of impairment.

EMS personnel work on a mock patient during a Prom Promise event, designed to inform students about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

The events featured realistic depictions of crashed vehicles, complete with students portraying injuries resulting from the collisions. The students witnessed the arrival of first responders who initiated care and extricated individuals with the Jaws of Life, a tool used by emergency rescue personnel to assist in the extrication of victims involved in vehicle accidents. An EastCare helicopter landed on the scene as part of the demonstration, underscoring the importance of quick response required in such emergencies.

“I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to our local first responders for their invaluable partnership and unwavering dedication in making our DWI reenactment crash demonstration a success,” said Steve Clarke, principal, Richlands High School. “Their professionalism, expertise and commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of our students and community are truly commendable. We are grateful for their continued support and collaboration in our efforts to educate and empower our students to make responsible choices and prioritize safety at all times.”

Through collaborative efforts and a commitment to education, ECU Health and its partners aspire to instill responsible decision-making and prioritize safety among students – not only during prom season but throughout their lives.