Tumbler Ridge (TR) CARES SHUTTLE SERVICE

TR CARES is designed to support the social and health needs of the community by providing a society under which groups of volunteers may operate specific programs without the necessity of each obtaining its own society or charitable status.

Member groups will have the advantage of sharing resources such as. equipment, facilities, expertise, fundraising initiatives, and a volunteer pool. The Society makes a concerted effort to work positively with other local societies and strives to ensure there is no duplication of service. Whenever possible the Society intends to partner with other entities in the community to deliver services in the most cost efficient and effective manner.

The Society is developing a Shuttle Service Program. The need for a service to transport people to out of town medical appointments was identified at the 49 Forever Seniors Issues Steering Committee meeting in November 2003.

In the fall of 2005 TR CARES received the donation of a seven passenger Ford Aerostar van from the District of Tumbler Ridge.

A service delivery plan has been created and funding from Northern Health is currently being sought. The volunteer component of the program requires a program coordinator (manager), an assistant and at least five drivers. There is an interim coordinator in place and volunteer driver applications have been received.

Initially the service will run one day per week between Tumbler Ridge and Dawson Creek. The day will be chosen in consultation with the local health staff and may not always be the same day of the week. The local health center will have program information.

When a patient requires an out-of-town appointment they will be given an information package. If they wish to access the service, and the doctor believes it is suitable for their condition, the health center staff will note their appointment date, time and location on a form that will be signed by the Doctor. Staff will attempt to schedule up to six appointments on a given day. A passenger may be accompanied if a child must go or if the doctor believes a passenger needs a companion. This form will be faxed or picked up by the Shuttle Service coordinator who will then confirm with the passenger and the scheduled driver. There will also be provision for passengers requiring follow-up visits to book directly. Unbooked seats may go to other riders on a standby basis.

Plans for expansion are for service going to Chetwynd, Fort St. John and Grande Prairie.

An assistant coordinator and more drivers are needed. Committeed volunteer support is essential to the successful operation of this service.

TR CARES also seeks board members for the 2006-2007 term. This is an opportunity to demonstrate leadership in an organization with huge potential to benefit our community.

Persons interested in volunteering or board membership may submit a resume for letter of interest to TR CARES Box 576 Tumbler Ridge BC VOC 2WO. Inquiries may be directed to: Jan Kohlhauser 242-5872.