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Paul Tope, Urbana and Larry Wiebke, VanHorne - Volunteer Drivers

Who has traveled nearly 18,000 miles, made over 560 one-way trips to medical appointments serving over 65 Benton County residents in one year’s time…the Benton County Volunteer Program Medical Transportation Assistance Volunteers…that’s who!

On June 14 volunteers came from Urbana, Vinton, Van Horne, Keystone, Watkins, Norway, Luzerne and Belle Plaine to converge in Belle Plaine to attend training. Funding for the training was provided through a grant from RCRV (Rockwell Collins Retiree Volunteers) supported by the Rockwell Collins Charitable Foundation.

Charmaine Wickwire, BCVP Executive Director and Carol Petersen, BCVP Board Chair started the program with a welcome and opening comments. Speakers were as follows:

Wayne Parizek, BCVP Assistant Executive Director/Finance addressed “Navigating Facilities” with advice on locating and maneuvering frequented medical facilities; Mike Ferguson, Benton County Chief Deputy Sheriff presented on “Vehicle Ready” talking about vehicle maintenance and road safety; Melissa (Conway) Macku, Virginia Gay Hospital informed us on key areas of “Client Care” for client transport; Dan Johnson, Belle Plaine Area Ambulance instructed the volunteers on “CPR Review” and provided first aid tips; and, Charmaine Wickwire covered program procedures. The training cumulated with distribution of certificates of completion.

A volunteer appreciate lunch followed training, prepared by Youngville Café and served by the BCVP Project Group South.

BCVP Medical Transportation Assistance is provided for Benton County residents, free of charge, for people who cannot drive, do not have family or friends available to drive or cannot afford transportation to medical appointments. Clients are usually sixty years of age or older; however we do have limited funding for people who are under sixty years of age. Volunteers provide their time but receive a fifty cent per mile reimbursement.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Charmaine Wickwire at 319-434-6078 or Dean Close at 319-472-2830. You may also visit us at www.BentonCountyVolunteers-IA.comto download a volunteer enrollment form and to view other services of the BCVP program.

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