‘Operation Prom’ warns students about the dangers of drunk driving

The goal is to get students to make safe choices on prom night.
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 6:09 PM CDT
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MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - Prom season is here, and local first responders are reminding high school students about the importance of making smart choices when it comes to drinking.

To help students enjoy prom, the Moline Police department, Moline Fire Department, and UnityPoint Health - Trinity put together ‘Operation Prom,’ a program to remind students of the dangers of drunk driving.

“Students saw this morning a portion of a real-life tragedy that we sometimes end up encountering in the emergency department over at the hospital,” said Adam Sowells, UnityPoint Health - Trinty’s EMS systems coordinator. “ It’s a scene where having fun and drinking becomes irresponsible, and sometimes has life-threatening consequences along with it.”

Moline High School principal Trista Sanders said it has been a while since Moline had a real prom, due to the pandemic, and is hopeful ‘Operation Prom’ reminds students to make good choices.

“It’s making sure that our kids get the most realistic perception of what they shouldn’t do,” Sanders said. “It is amazing to me every year how realistic it is. I think that, when you particularly involve peers of the actual students, I think that has a huge impact because they see that it’s not just about themselves.”

For two of the presenters, Lena Slininger and Joshua Stivers, the message is clear.

“You should always be careful with driving and everything because a lot of people are out on prom night,” Slininger said. “You gotta look out for everything.”

“Stay safe, have fun, but make safe choices,” Stivers said.

Inside the Wharton Field House, students heard informational speeches from an emergency room doctor and coroner.

“I hope that what they see is their actions, and sometimes impulsive decisions, have a huge far-reaching impact on themselves and also so many other people and their community,” Sanders said. “I hope those implications give them the ability, I guess, to think ahead, and to make better decisions when the time comes.”

Sowells added that Operation Prom’ will continue to rotate to different high schools throughout both Rock Island and Mercer counties.

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