This year, Ajax Fire and Emergency Services will be hosting Durham Region’s first ever P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma Among Youth) Program.

Durham Region P.A.R.T.Y was introduced to Durham Region by Heads Up! Durham, a community mobilization focused on brain injury awareness and prevention and is sponsored by the Ministry of Transportation and Durham Vision Zero. The program is about learning through real-life, emotional experiences and takes participants through the path of a trauma patient injured by a Motor Vehicle Collision. Durham Region P.A.R.T.Y. is about experiencing what happens when young people make a decision that changes their life forever.

In 2019, Joanne Warren, Administrative Coordinator for Ajax Fire and Emergency Services, presented to the Durham Region Fire Chiefs to seek approval for her membership on this committee to represent Fire Services for the Region. After her membership was approved and endorsed, Warren approached Ajax Fire and Emergency Services about hosting the first Durham Region P.A.R.T.Y. Program at Ajax Fire Headquarters for Ajax schools, which received a positive response and approval.

The program will start being offered to grade 10 students from the Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB) schools in Ajax, but Heads Up! Durham’s goal is to offer the invaluable P.A.R.T.Y. program to schools across Durham Region.


“I am looking forward to having Ajax Fire host Durham Region’s first Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma Among Youth Program, developed by Heads Up! Durham, as this is an essential component to share with the community in an effort to reduce death and injury in alcohol, drug and risk-related incidents. Thank you to Joanne Warren, Administrative Coordinator, Ajax Fire and Emergency Services, for approaching us with the idea and supporting the program.” – Aaron Burridge, Interim Fire Chief, Ajax Fire and Emergency Services

“On behalf of Ajax Council, I want to thank Heads Up! Durham and member agency, Ajax Fire and Emergency Services, for continuing to be leaders in the community and making safety a priority. Resources and learning opportunities, such as this program, is another important step to reduce the risk of tragic incidents.” – Mayor Shaun Collier

Quick Facts

  • A photo opportunity for the P.A.R.T.Y. program will take place at Ajax Fire Headquarters on May 17 at 1 p.m., outside of the formal program, with Linda Lowery, Chairperson of Heads Up! Durham and Program Coordinator for Durham Region P.A.R.T.Y., Ajax Fire and Emergency Services staff and Ajax Council.
  • The P.A.R.T.Y. program originated at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto in 1986 and is now worldwide. 
  • As of 2020/2021, with many sites having to move online, there were still 140 P.A.R.T.Y. Program sites worldwide reaching approximately 30,197 students.  
  • Historically, secondary students from Durham Region have had to travel to Sunnybrook or Markham-Stouffville Hospitals to access this much-needed program.
  • Limitations brought on by program capacity at these hospitals, and travel costs, have hindered attendance by many Durham Region students.
  • Presenters for the program will include Linda Lowery from Heads Up! Durham, Ajax Fire and Emergency Services, Durham Regional Police Service, Propel Physiotherapy, Pickering and Sarah Ginn, an injury survivor.
  • Injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for people 44 years and younger. Motor Vehicle Crashes are a leading cause of brain injury. P.A.R.T.Y. is based on the understanding that 90% of all injuries are both predicable and preventable. It’s about learning through vivid and real-life emotional experiences. 
  • Students who participate in the program leave knowing that they have the power to make the right choice. 

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