Airmen Against Drunk Driving program comes to the 144th
By SSgt Charles P Vaughn, 144th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 06, 2010
Fresno, Calif. -- There are many aspects of being an Airman. One is the safety of our wingman when out drinking.
Airmen should have a plan of how to get home before they take their first drink, but if the plan cannot be carried out, Airmen Against Drunk Driving is here to help, said Staff Sgt. Keele Adams.
Airmen Against Drunk Driving is a new program being run by the 144th Fighter Wings Airman and NCO Council and will be available every UTA weekend.
The primary purpose of AADD is to provide members of the 144th with a safe, and free ride home instead of driving their own vehicles while intoxicated.
The program will be made up of volunteers who have provided the AMN/NCO council with proof of insurance, valid drivers' license and a copy of their DMV driving record.
Anyone can volunteer: Airmen, officers, NCOs and senior NCOs. Volunteers need to realize, in addition to their time, they are also volunteering their car and gas.
"AADD should never be someone's first plan," said Adams the AMN/NCO council's Vice President. "Plan 'A' should be to have a designated driver, money for a taxi, or a friend or supervisor they can call. Plan 'B' is to call the AADD hot line."
"Our goal is to get people safely home from wherever they're drinking," Sgt. Keele said. Once sober, it's that person's individual responsibility to find a friend or someone in their chain of command to help them retrieve their vehicle.
When an individual calls 454-5155 during the hours AADD is stood up, the operator will ask: 1) where are you? 2) How many are in your party? 3) Where do you need to go? 4) How can we identify you?
The dispatcher directs drivers to the location to pick up Airmen.
"We will try to always send a male driver to pick up a male Airman and a female driver to pick up a female Airman, so all of our safety boundaries are covered," Sgt. Keele added.
"This is a free service to any wing member during UTA weekend."
"Drunk driving is an action that can carry immeasurable burdens that can affect the lives of those around you or those you do not know," said Chief Master Sgt. Michael W. McNiff command chief of the 144th Fighter Wing. "As Airmen the safety of our wingman is our highest priority I see this program as a key component of the overall wingman concept and as it's stated in the Airman's Creed ...I will never leave a Airman behind.."
"I'm an avid supporter of the AADD program," McNiff said."With over 30 years of military service I've had the unfortunate experience of seeing drunk driving severely harm or end several members' military careers. There is no doubt in my mind this program will saves lives, not to mention careers."