In 2013, Sasha Bailey made a remarkable discovery. The newly appointed Director of Communications for thyssenkrupp Elevator Americas became aware that social media outlets such as Facebook and YouTube were full of content posted by people “not just interested in, but totally fascinated with elevators.”
One of these people was Andrew Reams, better known as “Diesel Ducy,” whose lifelong passion for elevators has led him to film and post videos of thousands of elevators. Perhaps even more impressive than this was that his videos have been viewed millions – yes, millions! – of times. Sasha Bailey suddenly realized that there was an entire online community with one very special interest – the elevator.
You don’t have to be an elevator enthusiast yourself to enjoy the enthusiasm of others. Watch a few of Diesel Ducy’s videos and you’ll start to realize the immense variety and endless stimulation that the elevator can provide. You’ll soon be posting your own videos!
For this community, Diesel Ducy is a rockstar. This is particularly true for those elevator enthusiasts who, like Diesel Ducy, have a condition on the autism spectrum (ASD). Engines, motors, and machines fascinate many people who have ASD. Diesel Ducy sees his mission as using a shared love of the elevator to help others with ASD feel that they are part of a community. In his words, he is “elevating autism one lift at a time!”
“As an individual with Asperger’s syndrome myself, I am very familiar with some of the struggles that people with autism have. The most important message I want to convey is that just because you have autism does not mean you can’t lead a fulfilling and happy life.” – Andrew Reams, a.k.a. Diesel Ducy
Part of Sasha Bailey’s new job was to find ways to promote elevator safety. But what she saw on the some of the enthusiast-posted videos was the opposite of that, including clips from machine rooms and the top of elevator cabs. Then it hit her: Empower the elevator superfans to champion elevator safety. And so was born the Safety Ambassador’s Club (SAC).
The Club now boasts over 600 members. Prospective members simply visit the site for contact details and send in a letter with their information by post. They then receive logo-branded items as part of their membership, including a backpack, pencils, stickers, buttons, a t-shirt, and bookmarks on elevator and escalator safety rules to pass out to their friends. All members also receive gifts each year on their birthdays.
Although not officially connected with the SAC, Andrew Reams is an informal, though passionate, Club booster on his own website, encouraging fan interest in the importance of elevator safety.
Some of the “Ambassadors” also want to check out their local thyssenkrupp Elevator offices and meet the people who build their elevators. For example, Rian, a 9-year-old elevator enthusiast, visited the Las Vegas branch office and received a personal warehouse tour as well as a demonstration button box and a number of other goodies. It made his day!
Tristan, another superfan, visited the Evansville, Indiana office. Along with a guided tour, Tristan gratefully received an official fan shirt with his name on it and a personalized elevator cabin-operating panel (COP). And, although the visits of these superfans take a lot of time to prepare, the investment pays off in their happy faces and in the hearts of local staff involved.
The Safety Ambassador’s Club is yet another example of how everyone wins when we work together. Elevator enthusiasts receive affirmation and appreciation. Kids learn how to stay safe. And thyssenkrupp Elevator employees, who are themselves a special community of elevator superfans, learn more about how much their hard work means to others around the world. In the world of extreme elevator enthusiasm, everybody is a rockstar.
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