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RSVP Volunteers Ready to Roll
Community involvement makes van program possible
new slt RSVP van
Volunteers who received training on using the RSVP van are, from left: Jim Kuhn, Wayne Campbell, Kathy Collicott, Walter Erlich, and Richard Heaton. Not pictured, Whiliam Popp. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO



The RSVP van is ready for service after a long process of renovation and repair, said Donna Baugh, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. Volunteers who drive people to medical appointments can use the vehicle.

"The van has a wheelchair lift, which increases our ability to transport Barton County residents to medical appointments in and out of county," Baugh said. On Tuesday, five volunteer drivers attended a short hands-on training. Wayne Campbell, driver for the Barton County Commission on Aging Public Transportation, worked with the RSVP volunteers to ensure the safety of all passengers transported on the van.

Baugh said Darnell Holopirek with the Barton Community College Foundation was instrumental in getting the van donated to RSVP after a nursing home in Hoisington closed in 2009. Since then, automotive classes at the college have worked to repair and renovate the van, and Becker Tires donated new tires. "RSVP has only had to pay for a few parts, which is really great because our medical transportation budget is not large."

Campell reported the van still needs new tie-downs for the wheelchairs in back, and those are being ordered, Baugh said. "So we are not completely ready to begin transporting people that require a wheelchair for mobility in the van until those tie-downs with seat belts are installed. However, if any of our drivers want to use the van to transport a passenger in order to avoid adding miles to the driver’s personal vehicle, it is available."

RSVP provides transportation to medical appointments for all Barton county residents without alternate transportation. Rides are available to medical providers in Barton county, and in Hays, Hutchinson, Salina, Dodge City, Wichita and other locations. Call 620-792-1614 for more information or to schedule a ride.