SESS holds regional drivers' training

Drivers from around Southeast Alaska attended Driver's Training hosted by Southeast Senior Services.

From Oct. 2-5, Southeast Senior Services (SESS) held a special Drivers’ Workshop in Juneau. Senior Center drivers from Angoon, Haines, Hoonah, Kake, Ketchikan, Klawock, Sitka and Skagway, as well as four Juneau Care-A-Van drivers participated. The Juneau Care-A-Van Dispatcher and Wrangell Senior Center Manager also attended. The goal of the intensive training was to provide the information and experience necessary for the drivers to offer maximum safety and exemplary service to senior citizens and passengers with special needs. The Smith System Defensive Driving and the PASS courses were emphasized.

The Smith System Defensive Driving is a technique developed more than 45 years ago that emphasizes avoiding situations that could require abrupt emergency action by giving the driver time to see hazards as they develop, as well as to provide enough room to maneuver around them. The Smith System delivers behind the wheel instruction to more than 15,000 fleet drivers each year and has presented their program in 47 countries. In the past decade, Smith has provided services to more than half of the current Fortune 500 fleets and is the only company that guarantees the quality of their training.

The Community Transportation Association of America offers the PASS (Passenger Service and Safety) certification program for transit professionals in rural areas. This training course helps build confidence and skills among drivers and other staff, improve service to pas¬sengers, and create an atmosphere of well-trained professionalism in even the smallest transit systems. The PASS Driver Certification program ensures that rural transporta¬tion drivers have current expertise in passenger assistance techniques and sensitivity skills appropriate for serving persons with disabilities. Information on mobility devices, such as wheelchairs and walkers, is included.

Doug Bridges, Certified Community Transit Manager, and Robert Milton, Care-A-Van Quality and Safety Trainer, conducted both the Smith System and PASS training certification courses. SESS Program Director Marianne Mills provided training on reporting incidents, injuries, and accidents as well as tracking daily services provided. NTS Coordinator Caroline Frengle reviewed the SESS Transportation Policies and Procedures, while NTS Coordinator Doug Bridges covered the process of vehicle maintenance. CCS Human Resources Manager Carleen Mitchell reviewed agency policies and procedures, including the code of conduct.

“This was an especially impressive group of drivers,” said Mr. Bridges, “They listened carefully, asked great questions, shared challenging situations, and offered solutions for each other.”

The drivers, of whom most had to travel by plane or ferry to attend, were grateful for the valuable training opportunity. The Drivers’ Workshop was made possible by a Rural Transit Assistance Program grant from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. SESS, a division of Catholic Community Service, provides services for older Alaskans and their family caregivers throughout Southeast Alaska. For further information, please contact Mr. Bridges at 463-6159.


Sun, 02/19/2017 - 02:39

Historic painting comes to Alaska

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 02:34

Guy About Town: Help for a town made of people

Hey, all! I hope you’ve been having a healthy, enjoyable January despite the meteorological mood swings. Like seriously, it’s like it can’t decide whether it wants to try to rip the door off my house or knock on it gingerly and sell me cookies. I have the fortune, however, of not having windows in my office. See, I don’t have to watch the tumultuous perpetual gray on the one hand, and on the other I don’t have to feel bad about being inside when it’s sunny. I just turn on my Costa Rica webcam and put my shades and Pet Sounds album on and party with those spreadsheets all day long.

Read more
Sun, 02/19/2017 - 02:30

A big thank you to Bartlett Hospital’s cardiac rehabilitation department

Thank you to the staff and patients of Bartlett’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Department for their donation of baby food. This much-needed donation is critical for providing healthy food to young family members, who are most in need of nutritious food. We should always remember that “healthy choices fight heart disease.” Bartlett’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Department’s special, specific donation reminds us that the health of our children is the first step towards a long and healthy life, and their generosity is overwhelming. This donation will make a difference in the lives of babies and their families in need. Thank you Bartlett’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Department!

Read more


  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback