Our Training Process

We Hire the Most Qualified Candidates & Then Help Them Be Successful

At Kiessling Transit, we believe that having highly qualified and trained employees is potentially the most critical component of being able to provide our passengers and customers with excellence in transit management and superior transportation services. The golden principles of our organization – the customer always comes first, integrity, and emphasis on safety, to name just a few – must guide every single staff member at Kiessling, from leadership and operations management, to administrative staff and maintenance, to dispatch, monitors, and drivers.

One of the most important roles in the Kiessling transportation system is that of the driver. Whether shuttling college students to and from the airport, providing van transport to a group of adult day habilitation clients, or helping a wheelchair passenger get to and from work, a medical appointment, or shopping, Kiessling could not accomplish our mission of ensuring that all people have access to safe, reliable, and comfortable transportation options without our knowledgeable and experienced team of drivers and monitors.

When you work with Kiessling Transit, you can be confident that your clients are in the best of hands because our drivers are carefully screened, thoroughly trained, and constantly monitored and retrained on the industry’s best practices throughout their career. They are skilled not only on how to conduct their vehicle properly and how to effectively manage a route, but also on how to build a caring relationship with all passengers.

Kiessling’s Training Process

KTI recognizes that employee education is essential to ensuring safe operations. The better we educate our personnel, the better equipped our employees will be to make the right decisions once operating independently in the field. Thus, after an applicant has successfully met all pre-employment requirements, they are then placed into our training program, which has five key elements:

  • I. Two days of classroom training
  • II. Three days of road training
  • III. Continuous Education and Road Supervision
  • IV. Document Tracking and Recertification Practices
  • V. Drug & Alcohol Testing

Classroom Training

Our new hire Classroom Training runs on a continuous basis at our Norfolk and Framingham, MA, facilities each week. KTI can also conduct on-site training at a customer facility as needed. Led by our on-site Safety Managers, this training encompasses many different aspects of driver education and certification.

KTI’s Safety Managers have participated in extensive training, themselves, including certification programs offered by:

  • National Safety Council
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • MArtap (Massachusetts Rural Transit Assistance Program), which is a MassDOT program affiliated with the Massachusetts Association of Regional Transit Authorities (MARTA) and funded through the Federal Transit Administrator (FTA)

The top-level training our Safety Managers receive through these programs allows them to train our new hires on the latest techniques and procedures.

All drivers who attend classroom training will receive instruction and certification in a variety of areas, including defensive driving, lifting and boarding procedures, wheelchair securement, HIPAA compliance, accident procedures, and much more.

Defensive Driving

All drivers must pass our “Coaching the Van Driver” or “DDC4” certification course which teaches new drivers defensive driving techniques and how to safely operate a vehicle in various traffic situations. Drivers are required to pass an examination based on video and instruction by our training personnel as well as to show proficiency in driving techniques on a controlled driving course.

Lifting & Boarding Procedures

All employees receive proper lifting and boarding instruction by our training staff. We want to avoid injuries to our passengers and employees at all costs, so understanding safe practices is crucial. Lifting situations can be dangerous to everyone involved; therefore, proper lifting techniques and equipment use are heavily emphasized during training.

First Aid, CPR, AED Usage

All employees receive certification in First Aid and CPR. First Aid certification covers basic first aid techniques and procedures in the event an employee finds themselves in an emergency situation. Employees receive instruction on how to apply first aid for various types of injuries as well as procedures on notifying management and emergency services. CPR certification is an additional requirement that compliments their First Aid training. All employees are certified in CPR by our trainers. Video tutorials, hands-on dummy instruction, and AED usage are just a few of the main training points in our CPR certification course.

Blood-borne Pathogens

All employees are certified in blood-borne pathogens. Employees are provided with the knowledge required to identify blood-borne pathogens and to protect themselves from exposure. The main elements covered in this course include how to limit exposure, good practice controls, use of protective equipment, and handling of hazardous or infectious materials.

Wheelchair Securement

All employees are certified in Wheelchair Securement training, which is a comprehensive course teaching our employees the proper way to move and load wheelchair clients, the procedures for Q’Straint and Body Belt securement, and the correct way to use the wheelchair lift. We fully understand that injuries related to a tipped wheelchair during transport can be life threatening for the wheelchair client. KTI has a one strike policy when it comes to incidents involving an improperly secured wheelchair. If our own internal investigation finds that our driver is at fault for improper securement leading to a tipping incident, it is grounds for immediate termination.

Passenger Assistance and Sensitivity

All employees are certified in Passenger Assistance and Sensitivity training. This course aims to provide our drivers and monitors with the tools they need to effectively practice passenger assistance and sensitivity in the field. Appropriate terminology, driver etiquette, disability awareness, and mobility devices are all items discussed in this course.

HIPAA Compliance

All employees are provided information regarding HIPAA guidelines and are required to sign a compliance agreement that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) has been explained to them. All employees are required to comply with the laws and regulations set forth by HIPAA relating to confidentiality and privacy.

Consumer Rights

Consumer Rights is a practice and agreement where all employees receive instructions and are required to sign-off on their compliance. All employees are trained on how to properly communicate with program coordinators, residence staff members, consumers, and families to enable an effective transportation process that benefits all persons involved. Treating all consumers with respect and dignity is heavily emphasized.

Accident Procedures

All employees are instructed on proper accident procedures. In the event of an accident involving an employee, consumer, or automobile, our staff members are given instruction on how to immediately notify the company as well as the authorities when necessary. Accurate initial reporting and post-accident documentation are a primary training focus.

Communications Training

All drivers are trained on how to use Verizon PTT (Push-To-Talk) radios, tablets, and onboard computers. Drivers receive instruction on how to communicate via two-way radio with the company managers, dispatchers, and safety supervisors. Tablet and onboard computer training incorporates functionality instruction in the areas of unified message, private messaging, manifest management, and GPS mapping.

Employee Handbook and Policies Review

Our Safety Managers review the contents of the KTI employee handbook as well as any additional company policies with each new hire. This beneficial informational session allows our new hires to gather additional insight and clarity on our company policies. All new hires sign an acknowledgement page confirming that the handbook and policies have been adequately explained to them.

Road Training

Our Three-Day Road Training Program starts on the third day of the employee training process. New employees at this point have completed all required certifications and classroom course work. New drivers are now assigned to a Kiessling Safety Supervisor to complete the road portion of their training process. The safety supervisor will take the new driver on an active KTI route where they can further educate the new employee on best field practices and how to incorporate their classroom training into a real-time environment.

Once a new driver completes their road training they are tested one last time on wheelchair and passenger loading procedures before the safety supervisor releases them to our operations staff. If it is determined that a driver needs additional road training time, then the safety supervisor will not release them to our operations staff until they demonstrate competency and are comfortable with the task at hand. If it is determined that the driver is not capable of performing their route in a safe and reliable manner after additional training, then the employee will not be released for duty and employment will end.

Snapshot – Certification & Training

Certificate & Training Description Frequency
First Aid & CPRFirst Aid & CPR CertificationIntake Process & Annually
Wheelchair SecurementWC Securement & Loading ProceduresIntake Process & Annually
Defensive DrivingDDC-4 Classroom & Road TrainingIntake Process & Annually
Passenger AssistanceUWM Passenger & Sensitivity TrainingIntake Process & Ongoing
Handbook & PoliciesReview KTI Handbook & PoliciesIntake Process & Ongoing
Equipment TrainingOnboard Radio, Tablet & Safety EquipmentIntake Process & Ongoing

Continuous Education and Road Supervision

Once a new driver is released into the fleet, Kiessling Safety Supervisors will routinely spot check them to confirm that they are following all of our company’s best practices and policies. Safety supervisors are on duty every day during service hours.

In addition to their on-road inspections, safety supervisors regularly visit frequent pick-up and drop-off sites, such as hospitals and dialysis centers to make sure the staff at those facilities are happy with our performance.

While KTI doesn’t directly contract with these facilities we feel responsible for making sure every part of the process that our passengers go through during their daily trip is at the highest possible quality level. If this means making some small adjustments at different facilities to make the process work better for everyone involved, then that is what we will do.

Safety supervisors spend the majority of their time on the road observing KTI personnel and vehicles. The safety, service and QOS practices that our safety supervisors reinforce daily include securement usage, incident and accident response, passenger assistance practices, proper wheelchair lift operation, driver courtesy, and much more.

Our safety supervisors are key members of our fleet and instrumental to driver training, monitoring, and first responder assistance in the field.

Document Tracking and Recertification Practices

As part of our onboarding process, our HR personnel will collect all initial intake, training, and certification documents for each employee. Employee documents are stored and tracked inside our PayCom human resource system and are always secure, yet accessible to management, at all times. Our HR system tracks vital expiration dates for employee items such as driver’s licenses and certifications, which allows us to stay on top of – and ahead of – all inquiries, audits, and investigations.

Reoccurring training is another ongoing process taking place monthly at all our locations. Not only does our HR staff regularly communicate upcoming expirations and recurring training dates to all operations staff and drivers, but they also track all important documents and certifications.

Anyone that has ever been involved in employee audits or reviews knows how time-consuming and difficult this process can be if files are not stored and ordered correctly. Thus, we take great care and are very detailed in the way we organize and present our information during a review or audit.

Drug & Alcohol Testing

All KTI employees are prohibited from using drugs and alcohol on the job. We have a zero-tolerance policy for employees who fail a drug or alcohol-related test during operational hours; it is grounds for immediate termination. While the dangers of drug and alcohol use are explained to all staff members during their orientation process, we emphasize the risks even more with our drivers. It is stressed to our drivers that even the smallest amount of drugs or alcohol can impair their ability to operate one of our vehicles.

Our intent is to educate our employees about the hazards of using drugs and alcohol not only at work, but in their personal lives as well. We care about our employees and the passengers we transport. For this reason, we place a heavy emphasis on drug and alcohol testing and there are grave consequences for those employees who do not adhere to our guidelines. To effectively manage the safety risks for everyone involved in our day-to-day operations, we have implemented comprehensive drug and alcohol testing policies in an effort to deter use.

Pre-Employment Testing

Every job candidate is tested for drugs and alcohol prior to employment with KTI. Candidates are sent to a testing center where they must pass a DOT drug screen and alcohol breath test. Candidates who fail the pre-employment testing are not hired by Kiessling.

Post-Accident Testing

In the event of an accident involving one of our vehicles, it is mandatory that our driver is removed from routing and tested for drug and alcohol use within two hours of an accident. All drivers who test negative following an accident are eligible for reinstatement after a thorough investigation, while those who test positive are immediately terminated.

Random Testing

KTI has a random drug and alcohol testing program in place that meets DOT guidelines and is followed accordingly throughout each fiscal year.

Reasonable Suspicion Testing

KTI managers and safety personnel attend reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol training as part of our ongoing effort to educate staff members on the signs that a working peer in their presence may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a KTI employee does show signs of being impaired while at work, they are immediately removed from duty, and a random drug and alcohol test is ordered. The actions that management takes with an employee are based on the results of the testing.

Return to Duty Testing

If an employee is on leave for an extended period of time, or resigns and returns to KTI, the employee is sent to one of our testing facilities for a return to duty drug and alcohol test. This test is conducted to ensure that nothing has changed with the employee’s drug and alcohol usage before returning to duty.

At Kiessling, we adhere to strict pre-employment requirements, implement comprehensive ongoing education and road supervision programs, and administer thorough drug and alcohol testing for all employees. We believe this comprehensive employee training program has become a benchmark approach for teaching safety and service in the transportation industry.

In sharing these details with you, we hope you see how committed we are to developing employees who will meet and exceed your highest expectations and standards.

Everything We Do Is Driven By You.