Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Avow And Collier First Responders Ask Community To Make A Red Ribbon Promise

Photo by Kylee A. Pitts/Avow

Police officers, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency services workers make a commitment every day to keep Collier County safe.

Now they’re asking the community to promise to not drink and drive this holiday season.

Avow and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office are offering free red ribbon magnets that you can attach to your vehicle. The magnets carry the words “Red Ribbon Promise” and represent your pledge to not drive impaired. 

“We certainly make this pledge to make this a safe community each and every day,” Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk told more than 60 emergency services workers at a breakfast to kick off the Red Ribbon Promise campaign at Avow Hospice in North Naples on Tuesday. “We need to do more than that. We need to show the community they can make a difference.”

Sheriff Rambosk placed a Red Ribbon magnet on the CCSO B.A.T. Mobile, a mobile DUI command center, in a symbolic gesture of united support.   
 “It’s a good, solid reminder that we should not be drinking and driving or using any substance that would make us impaired,” Sheriff Rambosk said.

This is the second year CCSO and Avow have partnered in a Red Ribbon Promise campaign.

"It is a privilege for Avow to partner with the CCSO and honor all our public safety officers for the work they do to keep our citizens safe,” said Lavigne Kirkpatrick, external affairs manager for Avow. “It is our hope that the public will join us in the Red Ribbon Promise and not drive impaired during the holiday season and throughout the year."

The campaign is designed to encourage everyone to place special emphasis on the importance of drinking responsibly and driving safely during the holidays.

Drinking alcohol and driving dramatically increase your chance of being in a traffic crash.  Drunken driving remains one of America’s deadliest problems, according to research by the National Highway Safety Administration.

While motor vehicle crash fatalities increased by 3.2 percent nationwide overall in 2012, the number of people who died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes increased by 4.6 percent, according to the NHTSA.

Nationwide in 2012, 10,322 people lost their lives in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes, according to the NHTSA.

Last year in Florida, there were a total of 17,258 alcohol-related/suspected traffic crashes, including 294 in Collier County, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV).

In 2012, alcohol played a role in or was suspected to have played a role in 805 fatal traffic crashes in Florida, including nine in Collier County, according to the FDHSMV.
CCSO recommends some safety precautions for driving during the holiday season:

* Plan a safe way home before the celebration begins.

* Designate a sober driver before anyone begins drinking.

* If you’re impaired, use a taxi or call a sober friend or family member or take public transportation to get home.

* If you see a drunken driver on the road, call 911.

* If you know someone who is about to drive impaired, take their keys away from them and make arrangements to get them to their destination safely.

* If you are hosting a party this holiday season, remind your guests to plan ahead and designate a sober driver. Always offer alcohol-free beverages and plenty to eat during the event. Make sure all of your guests leave with a sober driver.

Red ribbon magnets are available through Jan. 1, 2014, at CCSO Headquarters, 3319 U.S. 41 E., Building J, East Naples; the CCSO substations in Golden Gate, Immokalee, North Naples and Everglades City; Avow Hospice, 1095 Whippoorwill Lane;  and Publix at 5991 Pine Ridge Road in the Crossroads shopping plaza in Golden Gate. 
Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk attaches a red ribbon magnet to the CCSO B.A.T. Mobile, a mobile DUI command center, following a breakfast to kick off the Red Ribbon Promise campaign at Avow in North Naples on Tuesday. First responders are encouraging the community to join them in promising to drink responsibly this holiday season. Photo by Kylee A. Pitts/Avow