PFG Team Again Helps Ford’s Driving Skills for Life Program Reach Teens Nationwide

For the 11th consecutive year, the PFG team of professional drivers, coaches, logistics managers, road producers and facilitators helped the Ford Fund realize its goal of training teens across the globe and throughout the U.S. to become safer and more responsible drivers. 



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While the U.S. was the main focus for the PFG team, logistics manager and PFG vice president Randy Bleicher was also asked to represent Ford Motor Company in England, Germany and Russia.  His role in those countries was to help them to teach teens using the Ford Driving Skills for Life curriculum, and to adapt that curriculum to the differences in driving style, teaching style and culture.  Randy learned quite a bit over the course of his trips abroad.  Plus, he earned an incredible amount of frequent flyer miles  – one of those great perks that we see in our industry!!!





On the U.S. tour for Driving Skills for Life, the PFG team travelled with Ford Fund representatives to sites across the country, but the work for the 2014 started in 2013 as PFG was tasked with designing a new look and style for the program while also adding to the scope of the curriculum.  Using partner and in-house graphic artists, the PFG team developed artwork for on-site signage and clothing.  The result was a giant client pleaser to be sure!


In-house road producer Tresco Boutard put his considerable talents to use over the winter of 2013 to design and fabricate several program enhancements. For example, Tresco designed a light beam actuated stop light that we use to show stopping distance and reaction times of drivers in the Hazard Recognition/Speed and Space Management exercise.  The mechanism is so effective, that we have received several comments from teens and parents that have gone through the DSFL program praising the fact that we have clearly shown the effect of reaction time on driving scenarios. Tresco also built a foot pedal system and attached it to a purchased group of table based reaction timers for our new-for-2014 Reaction Timer breakout exercise.


13565084784_1f525a2236_oLong time PFG go-to guy and local Phoenix racer Todd Cook took on the mantle of speaker for the new-for-2014 breakout exercise in the DSFL program that we call Safety and Technology.  Todd is tasked with talking to teens about the many current safety features available on cars of all makes. He also touches on how maintenance and understanding the systems of the vehicle you own can have a direct impact on safety.


DSFL rig diver Dennis Werner also increased his role in the DSFL program by becoming the official Safety Around Big Rigs speaker at all of the DSFL events. His easygoing and charismatic demeanor have mad him a favorite amongst teens and parents alike, and the information he provides has been an eye opener for many participants.


In addition to the breakout exercises, the newly fabricated materials and artwork, the PFG team developed curriculum for DSFL that helped teens learn to drive manual transmission equipped vehicles.  The curriculum proved to be a huge success and was a hit especially with the Ford marketing team that partnered with the Ford Fund for those particular exercises.


While DSFL placed most of its emphasis on the full-scale programs in the U.S. for  2014, there were several smaller programs that the PFG team was tasked with that were designed, managed and run by PFG team members only; the Ford Fund personnel were comfortable allowing the PFG team to do the programs alone.  These programs ranged from behind-the-wheel driving programs to media driven talks to school assemblies.  Each small program had a different flavor, a different audience and different need – all of which was the responsibility of the PFG team to handle.




And finally, the PFG team was a major force in the DSFL debut in Canada.  The PFG team handled site selection and site tours, travel logistics for the team and the supplies, changes in curriculum, and hiring and training of Canadian staff.  Dave Drimmie, manager of the PFG Canadian office was a critical part of the process and will continue in his role into 2015.  The two cities selected by Ford of Canada for the debut of DSFL were Toronto and Calgary.  Both cities were terrific choices and made the debut that much more successful. Plus, the Phoenix based PFG crew wasted no time taking in the sites, visiting downtown areas in both cities and enjoying the spectacular natural setting in Calgary.  Select PFG personnel will likely travel back to Canada this year as a management team, and the requests are coming in already to be a part of that next trip!



While 2014 was a banner year for PFG and DSFL, 2015 is shaping up to be even busier and better.  And we are really looking forward to it!