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Attorney General Larry Long Encourages Local High-School Students to be Street Smart

Attorney General Larry Long Encourages Local High-School Students to be Street Smart

PIERRE, S.D.- Life on the streets takes on a whole new meaning when you’re a firefighter-paramedic. The streets are where the crashes occur…where poor choices have played out…where teamwork is a must…where split seconds can save a life.

It’s these kinds of life-changing experiences that create the backdrop for a dramatic, gripping program called Street Smart that will be presented at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, March 23, at Stanley County High School, 10 E. Main Ave., Ft. Pierre. The program takes teens into the real-life drama experienced by firefighter-paramedics as they work to save the lives of youth who have made poor choices when it comes to underage drinking or illegal drug use. Attorney General Larry Long will be in attendance to introduce the Street Smart team to students. 

"One of the worst jobs a law enforcement officer can have is to knock on the door of a home and have to tell parents that their teen has been injured or killed in a car crash," explains Attorney General Long. "This program reminds students that, in fact, they’re not invincible, but they do have the power to make smart choices and keep themselves and even their friends safe."

During the presentation, a team of two certified paramedics walks students through what happens at a trauma scene using the medical equipment they employ daily in their jobs. From taking a pulse, to loading the victim onto a backboard, to simulating an intravenous line being started, students can see and feel what it’s like to try to save a life.

And what it’s like to be the victim…They learn the stories behind the crashes, they hear the choices that individuals were given, and they see irresponsible actions played out.

Street Smart is sponsored by Anheuser-Busch and Chamberlain Wholesale Grocery Co. as part of the company’s commitment to fight underage drinking and drunk driving. This presentation is part of a weeklong Street Smart tour supported by Attorney General Long that Anheuser-Busch wholesalers in South Dakota are sponsoring March 20-24 at 13 high schools statewide. A complete schedule of presentations is attached and the media are welcome to attend any one of those presentations as well. 

Tom Helland, owner and president of Chamberlain Wholesale Grocery Co. in Chamberlain, states, "Many of our employees are parents, too, and we all want our children to make smart choices, including wearing their seat belts and not drinking when they’re underage. The paramedics’ real-life stories have a powerful, long-lasting impact that encourages teens to be responsible about the choices they make."

Street Smart engages students rather than lecturing or preaching to them. Using factual information, actual medical equipment and demonstrations involving students, the paramedics provide a real-life look at the consequences of irresponsible actions. In addition, students learn to recognize EMS procedures, which may reduce anxiety if they are ever involved in trauma experiences. This is beneficial not only to the patient, but to first responders, rescue and emergency room personnel.

Street Smart is presented by members of Stay Alive From Education (S.A.F.E.®), a non-profit organization created by firefighter-paramedics dedicated to reducing teen injuries and fatalities. The team visits high schools and military bases across the country to help young people be "street smart" when it comes to decisions on drunk driving, underage drinking or illegal drug use. 

"We can see the impact on the students’ faces when they hear our real-life examples of what it’s like to be involved in a trauma," explains Vincent Easevoli, executive director of S.A.F.E. "It’s so rewarding later when students share how the presentation has made a difference in their lives. Whether that’s choosing not to engage in underage drinking or use illegal drugs, or choosing to wear a seat belt…their stories motivate us to reach even more students with those positive messages."

Since 1982, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers have invested more than a half-billion dollars in national advertising campaigns and community-based programs to promote responsible drinking and prevent all forms of alcohol abuse, including underage drinking and drunk driving. For more information on these efforts and the progress being made, visit