by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Board members of Oregon Impact gather to celebrate American Medical Response's donation of an ambulance to educate teens on the dangers of distracted driving.Oregon Impact, a Clackamas County-based nonprofit aiming to educate youth on the dangers of distracted or impaired driving, last week celebrated American Medical Response’s donation of an ambulance to become the organization’s “Brain Games Learning Center” this spring.

Newly developed “Test-Your-Brain” activities will be installed on the used ambulance valued between $25,000 and $30,000 to raise teens’ awareness on their inability to multitask. Janelle Lawrence, executive director of Oregon Impact, expects students to flock to the “Don’t kill the squirrel” driving video game, which kills many more virtual squirrels when it requires players to pick up a ringing cell phone and follow instructions to change a radio dial.

“AMR’s generous donation is going to allow us to reach sixth, seventh and eighth graders before they learn to drive,” Lawrence said. “We’re all extremely thankful.”

Marc Burnham, AMR’s operations manager and an Oregon Impact board member, got the idea for the donation from seeing the popularity of the North Clackamas Parks & Recreation District’s “RecMobile,” a converted ambulance that travels to various local parks loaded with a variety of games and other children’s activities.

“One of the great things about this vehicle for Oregon Impact is there’ll be a video recorder where youth can email something like, ‘Mommy, it scares me when you text and drive,’ and that’s something they might not be comfortable telling their parents directly,” Burnham said.

Lawrence is also excited about a feature on the outside of the ambulance to engage kids while they line up to wait for the games inside: Information related to distracted driving will educate children as they use classroom clickers to vote on whether they agree or disagree with statements.

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