KMC Airman volunteer program saves 1,000 lives

Sheri Byrd Contract writer

The KMC Airmen Against Drunk Driving organization reached the milestone of saving 1,000 lives in 2004.
“We got our 1000th call between 3 and 4 a.m. Sunday May 30,” said Airman 1st Class Stephanie Hamm, 735th Civil Engineer Squadron customer service technician and volunteer president of AADD.
The group mans phones in their Kapaun Air Station office Saturday and Sunday mornings from 1 to 5 a.m, and sometimes on Friday or Monday for goal or family days.
The AADD committee consists of 32 committee members who, Airman Hamm said, are “the backbone of the program. They are the ones who sit watches, waiting for calls.”
AADD has never had a single weekend night-shift without a call.
Popular locations for callers seem to be on-base clubs on Sunday mornings, and various downtown locations for Saturday mornings.
When a call comes in, a committee member phones two of the 624 volunteer drivers. The drivers go to the caller’s location, where one driver takes the caller, and sometimes a group of friends, back home. The other driver takes the keys and drives the caller’s vehicle home.
“Sometimes people are embarrassed to call,” Airman Hamm said. “But they are always grateful, and that’s what we’re here for.”
The AADD volunteer drivers come from all ranks, and Airman Hamm said nobody minds being called out. They donate not only their midnight time, but also their private vehicles, as well as the gas to run them.
Airman Hamm has served as president of AADD since February 2003. In all of 2003, AADD took 684 calls and considers them 684 or more lives saved.
However, the program has greatly increased its visibility this year.
“We’ve continued to receive more and more support,” Airman Hamm said. “Commanders and first sergeants throughout the KMC know about us and spread the word to their people, as well volunteer as drivers.”
The AADD office was recently renovated, also by volunteer effort, and now holds a donated big screen TV, couches, tables and chairs and a refrigerator for snacks.
“We’re putting in a bed soon, as well as play area for volunteers who want to bring their small children,” Airman Hamm said. “We’d also like to get a pool table and maybe a foosball table.”
The office volunteers typically spend the hours watching movies, playing games and snacking on pizza.