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Little Rock AFB program SAVES lives

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,265 people were killed in the U.S. due to drunk drivers in 2015. Each crash effects not only the people involved but their families, friends, coworkers and fellow wingman.

Substance Abuse Victimizes Every Service Member, or SAVES, is a Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, developed program that strives in reducing the amount of alcohol and drug related incidents involving Team Little Rock members on and off base.

“The SAVES program is very similar to the force protection conditions,” said Stephanie Wynn, 19th Airlift Wing community support coordinator. “There are three levels that are colored coded: green, yellow and red depending on the amount of incidents occurring within a 60-day period.”

With each level activated, there are reactive measures that counter the circumstances at hand. The measures are implemented at the wing commander’s discretion, but unit commanders may apply measures from higher levels to tailor their unit's specific circumstances.

LEVEL ONE

A steady state where day-to-day operations are meant to be maintained indefinitely, similar to FPCON Alpha. This includes random entry point checks at base gates.  

LEVEL TWO

A level of increased awareness is initiated if the number of ARIs rise above six or driving while intoxicated cases rise above four. For example, a measure would be an increase in first sergeant visits to the dormitories due to a surge in underage drinking.

LEVEL THREE

Applies when the installation continues to experience an upward swing in ARIs and DWIs, or if substance abuse is a factor that causes a loss of life. A measure for this level would be additional housing sweeps and walking patrols on base.

“SAVES by the numbers works, we have incrementally lowered our driving while intoxicated cases and alcohol related incidents every year,” Wynn said.

The SAVES program works closely with multiple agencies to include the Air Force Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program, or ADAPT, to accomplish their mission.

“One thing we do for SAVES is we provide statistics,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Scotty Howard, 19th Medical Operations Squadron ADAPT program manager. “We don’t collect names but we do gather information like the age, rank and unit of Airmen and give it to the SAVES coordinator to brief the commanders.”

The data is then used to set SAVES levels and helps commanders address issues that are specific to their units. Preventative counseling is also done through ADAPT for any Airmen willing to get help for substance abuse.

“Prevention is what I like to stress to people the most; when things start becoming noticeable to you or your peers that’s when reaching out is most important,” Howard said.

Keeping Airmen and their families safe is a top priority for the SAVES program. Since its inception more than six years ago, drug and alcohol incidents have been cut in half at Little Rock AFB.

For Airmen struggling with substance abuse, contact ADAPT at (501) 987-7338 for counseling and treatment. For more information regarding the SAVES program, contact any unit’s first sergeant.