Volunteer drivers needed to bring seniors and veterans from their home to medical appointments and back home again in eight Connecticut communities
Hartford – The Community Renewal Team’s (CRT) Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is seeking dedicated volunteer drivers for its Volunteer Medical Transportation (VMT) Program that brings seniors and veterans from their home to medical appointments and back home again – all for free!
“Our team of volunteer drivers take seniors and veterans from their homes to medical appointments and then back home again – providing true door-to-door-to-door service – at absolutely no charge to the participant,” said Theresa Strong, RSVP Program Manager for CRT.
The VMT program remained operational throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, providing more than 1,000 rides to seniors and veterans in need of this service last year. And now the service can provide transportation to COVID-19 vaccine appointments, too.
The RSVP Greater Hartford/Central CT Volunteer Medical Transportation Program has been bridging this transportation gap providing thousands of trips to seniors and veterans in multiple cities and town in Central Connecticut since its inception in January 2016.
The VMT program has grown to include eight cities/towns: Berlin, Cromwell, New Britain, Plainville, Southington, Suffield, Windsor, and Windsor Locks.
Need a Ride from the VMT Program?
Seniors and veterans requesting rides for the first time call the RSVP office (860-519-3484) and provide initial client information along with anticipated future needs for this free service. From that point forward, they will be in our system and can simply call and provide their specific ride request when needed.
Start Serving as a Volunteer Driver Today
“You can help meet the transportation needs of seniors and veterans in the communities we serve by volunteering with RSVP as one of our regular drivers,” said Strong. “Seniors will greatly appreciate your service, because you make it possible for them to continue living in their own homes and still have access to all the medical services that they need.”
As a volunteer driver with the VMT program, you will be on an on-call list along with other volunteers. When new requests for service come in, volunteers receive a notification and can pick and choose the appointments that fit in with their schedule.
With this volunteer call-list system, we can provide seniors and veterans with access to a free, reliable, non-emergency medical transportation service.
To become a Volunteer Medical Transportation driver you must:
- Be at least 55 years of age
- Have a good driving record
- Hold a current and valid driver’s license
- Have liability automobile insurance coverage
- Drive an automobile that is in a safe, road-worthy condition
- Provide information for criminal background screening
- Register & train as an RSVP volunteer – contact information below
Mileage reimbursement: Funding is provided to reimburse volunteers of the Medical Transportation program for their mileage to and from their own residence.
Mileage reimbursement is paid to volunteer drivers from the time they leave their home to their clients’ destination and back at the rate of 36 cents per mile. (Note: This is less than the federal rate, so volunteers do not need to claim on their income taxes as income.)
Insurance for drivers: RSVP provides insurance coverage on all members through secondary personal liability and accidental death & dismemberment policies. Your coverage is in effect from the moment you leave your home, and while you are engaged in volunteer activities, until you return.
How to Get Involved: For more information about this valuable program – either to become a volunteer, or to request a future ride – please email Theresa Strong at: [email protected].
Funding for this program is provided in part by the Older Americans Act through the North Central Area Agency on Aging and AmeriCorps Seniors. In addition, annual donations are made from local cities/towns, and private citizens/businesses.
Editor’s Note: Staff from CRT’s RSVP are available for interviews about this free transportation program.
For more information, please contact CRT’s Communications Director, Jason Black at 860-230-4535.