Bill Lane unfortunately passed away last month and I upload this interview from 2013 as a memorial to his life and work. -We all will miss a great man who helped thousands of struggling teens and young adults as his life’s work. -Lon
My guest today, April 22, 2013 is Bill Lane, no stranger to the private schools, therapeutic programs, wilderness programs, RTC’s and emotional growth boarding schools in the parent choice network, having worked over 40 years with parents and their struggling teens and children. Lane, often called a “pioneer” of the transport service industry talked about his insights and longevity in this field, the number one concern he has for transporting teens and his professional assessment in what makes a good transport agency.
For Bill, his interest in developing a transport service began while working at CEDU School in Running Springs; CA. Bill began working with Mel Wasserman, the founder of CEDU, in 1974 and quickly became a jack of all trades- from public relations and fund raising (in the early days) to admissions and every other aspect of the organization. After taking on President of CEDU High School and Middle School, he finally found his perfect niche as Director of Transport Services. He knew he had to create a way to get the kids to the schools in a safe way and also took the opportunity to prepare the students in understanding the school they were coming to.
Although the company has changed names, Bill Lane still adheres to the same goals he created back in the beginning: a smooth transition (for both the student and the parents- this is the key to a successful transport), removing the mystery out of all of it- by answering questions the student may have (we never lie to the child) and let them know what is going on and what will happen. We build a bond with them. “We are very good at de-escalating a child, we are talking to them and we always treat them with dignity and respect. We give them options and take them to McDonalds and let them order whatever they want. If they do not want to cooperate, we give them options- always…if they don’t want to get dressed and get ready to go we tell them “ok then, we will lift you up, take you to the car and dress you in the car… (They always get dressed!)
“We are the last resort for parents in getting their kids to go to a school or program and we know what a difficult decision they have had to make. We stay in contact with the parents on the whole trip, from start to finish. After their child is safely enrolled in the program or school we de-brief the trip with them, from what they ate to how they acted. We usually let the parents know we even got a hug from the kid at the end, because we really do develop a bond.”
With over 75 agents placed around the country, Bill Lane and his agents are ready on a moment’s notice. The set-up has to be done quickly and we make all the arrangements: flights, calling the schools and rental of vehicles and etc. Our agents must meet our criteria: they must have a good personality, upbeat and everything on a positive note and have the gift of gab, must have a clean cut image and be able to represent our company in a professional manner, pass extensive and thorough background checks- both federal and state and have the necessary training in CPI intervention, first aid/CPR and understand the philosophy of restraint as a last resort. We provide the training initially and ongoing.
Bill Lane and Associates is a founding member of AMATS (Association of Mediation and Transport Services) an association whose purpose is to establish ethical practices and professional standards as guidelines for the transport industry, in addition to making sure each company carries the proper liability and insurance and that they are conducting accurate background checks on prospective agents. “A family can feel secure in hiring an agent that belongs to this association.”
“I love working with people… parents and professionals and it’s the best feeling in the world, when you’ve made a difference in a family’s life.”