GEORGETOWN, Ill. (WCIA) — A group in Georgetown is trying to help people who struggle to get their medical needs due to the cost of transportation and lack of available services.
Georgetown Ambulance is operating a community transport van to solve the problem. It seats six people and one wheelchair, takes trips within a 25-mile radius and only costs $5.
The group said they’ve heard the frustrations from people who can’t make it to their health appointments. They said the van is exactly what they’ve been waiting for.
Georgetown Fire Trustee and retired health care worker Lori Starwalt knows many people who need help getting to medical services.
“Dialysis, doctor’s appointments, other hospitals for procedures and tests,” Starwalt said. “They don’t meet the qualifications because they don’t need to be bed bound.”
Emergency Medical Technician Connor McLeod echoed those same sentiments.
“I’ve had multiple calls where people called 911 because they needed a ride to the doctor’s appointment,” Mcleod said. “As an ambulance service, we can’t necessarily do that.”
It’s not just for people in Georgetown. Driver Chris Denbow said he’s traveled to Springfield, Chicago and states like Indiana and Missouri for checks ups.
“It’s a lot easier than using an ambulance to get people back and forth,” Denbow said.
There’s only one van available and it is by appointment only. Starwalt said covering the cost of the van plays a factor in how long the service will be around. But making sure neighbors can take care of their health concerns is most important.
“It makes me feel great that my community, my ambulance service is able to make that happen for them,” Starwalt said.
The service has been around for only two weeks, but they’ve already picked up aboiut 40 people.
Anyone looking to make an appointment can call (217)-601-3437.