Dakota Transporter
Volume 18, Issue 1Winter 2006

PASS Training

DTA Board of Directors

Dakota Transit Association is striving for all its member drivers in the two states to become passenger service and safety (PASS) certified by the time the driver has been driving for one year. The PASS Certification Program is explained on the CTAA website (www.ctaa.org).

Mid-Year Training Session; Apr. 10-12, 2006The PASS Driver Certification Program ensures that community transportation drivers have expertise in passenger assistance techniques and sensitivity skills appropriate for serving persons with disabilities. The PASS program is designed as a three-day train-the-trainer session to certify trainers who can then train drivers, or as a two-day driver program in which our instructors train your drivers. Some of the advantages of offering the PASS Certification Program are: the ability to reduce organizational liability; comprehensive, up-to-date training on the assistance drivers should be providing to passengers with special needs; intensive emergency situation training; certification oversight provided by national leaders in the community transportation field; and updates for all participants on relevant regulatory changes.

The class is a two-day class and the following material is covered:

  • Day One:
    • Introductions: pre-test, stress management & Americans with Disabilities Act
    • Driver sensitivity, awareness and communication
    • Mobility equipment (including walkers, canes, crutches, braces, etc.)
    • Hands-on assistance (including body mechanics, transfers and guiding the vision impaired)
    • Wheelchair types and features (including scooters)
    • Lift operations
    • Securement
  • Day Two:
    • Principles of crisis management
    • Evacuation techniques and emergency procedures
    • Bloodborne pathogen protection
    • Handling seizure disorders
    • Responding to passenger abuse and neglect
    • Driver/passenger sexual improprieties
    • Review and final examination.
Picture of PASS training class

In November 2005, SURTC and DTA sponsored a PASS train-the-trainer certification class at Oacoma, SD, taught by Jim Holmen, a CTAA master trainer who helped design the program. The following individuals from North and South Dakota were certified as trainers: Ron Baumgart, River Cities Transit, Pierre, SD; Joe Berger, Elder Care, Dickinson, ND; Gwen Coit, South Central Transit Services, Valley City, ND; Kevin Disburg, River Cities Transit, Pierre, SD; Gary Hegland, Small Urban & Rural Transit Center, Fargo, ND; Jim Martin, Handi-Wheels Transportation, Inc., Fargo, ND; Carl Rathburn, Rivers Cities Transit, Pierre, SD; Randy Remmick, Bis-Man Transit, Bismarck, ND; Carol Seurer, Community Transit, Inc., Sisseton, SD; Ken Stange Brookings Area Transit Authority, Brookings, SD; Don Wenzel, ROCS, Lake Andes, SD; Carol Wright, James River Transit, Jamestown, ND; and Tom Zupet Prairie Hills Transit, Spearfish, SD. Individuals from Minnesota, Iowa, Montana and Mississippi also attended the certification class. In addition, Darrell Francis, Souris Basin Transportation, Minot, ND, is a certified trainer.

Currently, there are 14 trainers spread throughout the Dakotas. The idea is that these trainers will train drivers in their own organizations plus neighboring organizations who do not have in-house trainers. You can help achieve this goal by calling one of the trainers listed above who works closest to your transit operation location and ask them if they would be willing to come to your organization and train your drivers. All this will have to be coordinated through transit organization managers. By design, this is the most efficient and cost-effective means of accomplishing the desired goal. The result will be well-trained bus drivers in all organizations who are safe and sensitive to the needs of our customers, professional in conducting their daily tasks, and who can enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done at the end of each day.

Another Mobility Achievement

Picture of Scott BogrenScott Bogren, Communication Director
Community Transportation Association of America
Washington, DC

In a year marked by the success of transit reauthorization, one more significant step for mobility was achieved in Congress today, Dec. 20, 2005. Following the hard work of our Association, its members and friends, the Medicaid program has been made stronger and more responsive to the needs of those who depend on it for vital medical transportation as well as those who provide this service.

Today, the United States Senate approved a controversial budget-cutting bill that includes a hard-fought provision making non-emergency transportation a required Medicaid benefit. The bill states that non-emergency transportation is required by regulation for Medicaid recipients without means to get to and from medical services.

"This provision ensures that thousands of Medicaid recipients around the nation will have access to the transportation they need to seek medical care," said Community Transportation Association of America Executive Director Dale J. Marsico. "It's a significant achievement."

Community Transportation Association members in Georgia, Montana and Iowa were instrumental in achieving this important legislative victory. We thank Georgia Congressman Nathan Deal and his chief health staff member, Brandon Clark, for their leadership in proposing the non-emergency Medicaid transportation provision and successfully advocating for it in the conference committee with the Senate.

The ramifications of this legislative achievement will play an important role in the National Medical Transportation Conference to be held this June 5-6 in Orlando, FL. For more on this vital conference, please go to www.ctaa.org.

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