This winter has been intense throughout many parts of the country. In the Northwest, snow and rain has been almost unprecedented. In the Northeast, New England and other states have been struggling to deal with more ice and freezing rain than snow events. In the south rain has been pouring down in a relentless torrent. In the Midwest, massive snowfall has ground some regions to a halt.
This latter circumstance in the Midwest has created extreme circumstances that have made it difficult for not just emergency responders like paramedics, but also home care providers to get to their clients.
When city buses are unable to navigate their routes and when regular citizens, including home care aides, don’t have vehicles that can press through large amounts of snow, they may be unable to visit their elderly and disabled clients. In Kansas City, Missouri, men and women who own four-wheel-drive vehicles have been assisting these individuals in getting to the people who need them most.
As reported by Fox 4 KC reporter John Pepitone in the blog, Four-wheel drive club helps health care workers, first responders get to work in the snow:
“Two home health care workers rely on public transit to get to their elderly clients. On a normal day they have to take three buses for a trip that takes nearly an hour.
On Wednesday morning Quinton Byers and his partner knew they were facing a commute that could last hours to reach a home-bound senior who’s depending on them.
Luckily, they recently learned of a four-wheel drive club, whose members offer to provide rides to health care workers and other first responders that must be at their jobs.
Tony Kiley got the pair to an east side home safely so they could make sure their client took the medicine they need.”
Often, when snow is measured in feet, media coverage focuses on closed roadways, collapsed roofs, and emergency responders like the police and firefighters as well as Public Works departments clearing snow, but rarely does the public get a glimpse into the struggles home health care providers face in getting to their clients, nor the unsung heroes who sometimes help them get there.
While students and teachers in public schools get snow days, when even government workers and other employees get to stay home because of a statewide emergency, home care providers still have clients who need them to show up. Those individuals who are part of a “four-wheel-drive club” or other network helping these home care service providers reach their clients deserve a moment of recognition.