BY VERONICA COONS
HOISINGTON — Hoisington Chamber of Commerce members recognized the contributions made by various community members at the 60th Annual Hoisington Chamber of Commerce Banquet Saturday night. One event remembered had a lasting impact on area youth, and resulted in the Hoisington EMS receiving the Youth Activities Award, given in recognition of the promotion of the welfare of Hoisington’s youth.
In May, the Hoisington EMS Department, headed by Scott Fleming, organized an Arrive Alive event, with several area businesses, local law enforcement, emergency responder organizations, health organizations, USD 431 and several students offering their time and resources to make the event a success. Scheduled a few weeks prior to several area proms, the event drove home the life-changing consequences of drinking and driving.
The event included a mock accident in which one of the drivers was a teen drunk driver. An emergency medical helicopter transport crew attended the scene, taking one of the student actors from the scene in “critical” condition. Later, a debriefing session at the high school included real-live experiences shared by various people and a question and answer period.
Barton county photographer Amy Stein documented the event with photos and it was also video taped. Following the event, and photos and video posted to social media led to an outpouring of response from around the state and beyond.
“All of the Barton County schools were invited to attend and Hoisington and Ellinwood students attended,” Hoisington Chamber of Commerce Director Kristi Lovett wrote. “ The presentation consisted of life experiences from the DUI Impact Center and Emergency Responders and was followed by a question and answer session with the students. The “real-time” drama including an instance of underage drunk driving and its consequences was very impactful to the student body.”
Fleming said Monday that receiving the award was an added bonus to his department, and made all their work well worth the effort.
“Receiving the award was overwhelming. We were proud we’d done something worthy of recognition while helping our youth,” he said. “If we made a difference in one teen’s decision, it was worth it.”
The award is one of several Chamber Ambassador Community Awards, Lovett said. Throughout the year, ambassadors make nominations, and finalize their decisions in November.