Acting Fire Chief Steve Aiello may be right in noting that a public service announcement (PSA) filmed last week involving firefighters, police officers, local teenagers and other volunteers may well "save a life" if it gets through to young people regarding the dangers of drinking and driving, along with texting and other vehicular hazards.
The video — noting that the city's emergency responders would rather deal with local teens playing basketball and other community events instead of having to extricate them from the scene of a drunken driving accident — certainly drives home a powerful message. Indeed, city firefighters' union Local 762 and Sunbanque, which co-sponsored the project, and Cape Ann TV, which filmed it and will air it starting in early May, all deserve credit for taking up this effort.
Beyond the video, however, it's important for parents and teens themselves to drive home the point that drunken driving and distracted driving can indeed be killers. For all of the video work, all of the Facebook and other social media promotion and all of the other outreach cannot be successful without parents and teens' support.
The Healthy Gloucester Collaborative, which works regularly with local police, firefighters, the city's Health Department and our schools, has put a lot into taking a bite out of teen drinking. That's to the credit of everyone involved in this project and others, and we hope this PSA gets the viewership its deserves.
But the most important push must come from parents and other adults, who simply cannot host underage drinking parties or otherwise facilitate teen alcohol use, and from teens themselves, who should indeed heed the PSA's advice.
Drinking and driving can be deadly. Let's hope local teens don't learn that the hard way.