When Jan Trim, President of MADD Whitehorse, flew into a remote Canadian community to educate the citizens about impaired driving, she had to kiss her SIDNE® (Simulated Impaired DriviNg Experience) good-bye and hope for the best. The usually “babied” SIDNE had to go ahead of her team in a different plane, due to size limitations on the aircraft flying into Old Crow. Old Crow is an isolated community that can only be accessed by plane or boat. But, bringing SIDNE along was worth the temporary separation, according to Trim, who called it an ‘excellent educational tool.’
“It is definitely a challenge going out to a lot of the communities in [our area,]” said Melissa Glockler, administrative assistant for MADD Whitehorse.
The MADD Whitehorse group is accustomed to dealing with less than ideal conditions when planning SIDNE events; events are often held inside because of the frigid Canadian outdoors. MADD Whitehorse has conquered some challenges by partnering with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for delivery and presentation, showing the benefits often found in partnership with other organizations.
The latest presentation in Old Crow, however, presented unique challenges and new opportunities for MADD Whitehorse. Old Crow is an isolated community and an officially dry town, with few automobiles in sight.
Glockler said that the alcohol ban does not stop townspeople from smuggling alcohol in and driving impaired—last year alone two young people died as a result of impaired snowmobile and four-wheeler driving. While at first one might question the value of a drinking and driving presentation to a place like this, Trim pointed out that the townspeople are active on snowmobiles and four-wheelers.
“Kids [here] are driving snowmobiles way sooner than they are [elsewhere],” said Trim. “Sometimes they have already been drinking.”
When a death does happen due to drinking and driving here, it affects the small community strongly. Innocorp President Michael Aguilar said this is another example of how impaired driving affects everybody.
“We’re thrilled to see that Innocorp products can help save lives even in the most remote regions,” said Aguilar.
Another challenge in dealing with remote communities, said Glockler, is determining who to present the information to, and how to do it.
“When we go to the communities we don’t necessarily [present to] just the students,” said Glockler. “We do it as a community event, so anybody can come out and see it.”
Glockler said adults in some of the more remote regions need access to the information, for themselves and their children. She explained that in many of the communities the roads are not controlled on a regular basis because RCMP representation is limited in highway patrol due to the large landmasses the limited force must cover.
As a result, MADD Whitehorse must approach the presentation from a different perspective, said Glockler. “We say ‘It is up to you guys, you guys are the ones on the roads and you are the ones you are trying to protect.’”
MADD Whitehorse uses the full range of Innocorp, ltd.’s products in its presentation, with participants using intoxiclock®, Fatal Reflections®, Fatal Reaction® and Distract-a-Match® before tackling the SIDNE® course. Glockler said the products provide impact and understanding to go along with the message that MADD teaches.
“It’s a really unique opportunity for us here, because we are very limited in the programs that are able to be brought up to [our area],” said Glockler. “It is such a different learning curve than us going into a classroom and giving a lecture about the hazards of driving impaired.”
MADD Whitehorse measures its impact and results by talking with kids before and after they come off the SIDNE course. By recording the participant’s impressions and the amount of times they are requested back by schools and other community organizations, they can better understand the impact of using SIDNE and the other Innocorp products in their presentation. The overall response, according to Trim and Glockler, has been very positive.
“Bringing these tools in and letting students do and see for themselves changes the whole thing,” said Glockler. “We’re not lecturing to them; they are doing it for themselves and seeing for themselves.”
Trim and Glockler agreed that SIDNE, combined with other Innocorp tools, has definitely made a difference in their participants’ mindset about drinking and driving.
To find out more about SIDNE, overcoming specific challenges, and pricing, please contact Jamie Stebbeds at (608)848-5570.