Macomb Township residents Jim Santilli, the executive director of the Traffic Improvement Association of Michigan (TIA), and Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham recenlty presented awards to members of the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.
The awards were recently presented to members of the Air Station for their participation in a distracted driving video filmed in Clinton Township on Dec. 1, 2011.
"We truly appreciate the ultimate sacrifice that all of you make each day to protect the public and save lives," said Santilli, while speaking to the members of Air Station Detroit, according to a release. "Your professionalism and commitment allowed us to create a distracted driving awareness video right here in Macomb County, which continues to garner international attention."
The which has been viewed in more than 90 countries, was produced for TIA's "Remembering Ally: Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign." The video was part of a campaign named in in memory of Ally Zimmerman, a 16-year-old Romeo High School student, who was hit by a distracted driver on December 28, 2010, and later died from her injuries.
"Our continued partnership with the professionals at Air Station Detroit is vital to our commitment of providing the best public safety services," saidWickersham, in a release. "The Macomb County Sheriff's Office remains dedicated to working with other agencies to increase available resources, and prevent tragedies from occurring."
Personnel from the Air Station also took part in a flyover exercise during a TIA-organized emergency response demonstration at Macomb Community College's Center Campus in Clinton Township on September 15, 2012.
The recognitions were accepted by Commander Joseph Deer, Commanding Officer of Air Station Detroit.
"U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit was privileged and honored to work with the fine professionals of the Macomb County Sheriff's Office, state and local public safety agencies, as well as the Traffic Improvement Association of Michigan," said Deer, in a release. "This realistic training experience provided optimal value to both the Macomb County first responders as well as Coast Guard aircrews, while additionally helping to educate our community on the dangers of distracted driving."
Wickersham added that education efforts, such as the video, will help save lives.
"Nationally, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for ages 15 to 20," said Wickersham, in a release. "Educating the public about the tragic consequences that are associated with traffic crashes is key to saving lives and preventing injuries."