DRIVER COMMITMENT AND SCHEDULING
Boston or Local? Drivers specify whether they will provide rides to destinations in Lexington and vicinity or to Boston, or both. Your preference is noted on the monthly schedule.
How much time? The typical time commitment is one day each month, which may include more than one assignment. However, you can specify any time limitations if you are unable to drive at certain times of day. Drivers are encouraged to serve as back-up drivers, when possible. Typically a back-up request is for one ride only.
Scheduling. The schedule is arranged on a month-by-month basis. You can specify a particular volunteer day—for example, the second Tuesday of each month. Alternatively, you can request that the FISH driver coordinator contact you each month to schedule your volunteer day. You’ll receive the monthly schedule in the mail, or by email if you agree to accept email only.
Rescheduling. If you need to reschedule your driving day, you are expected to swap with another driver. Notify your phoner and the phoner of the driver with whom you swapped.
Unable to commit weeks ahead? Some of us, because of work or unpredictable schedules, are unable to commit to drive more than a few days ahead. If that’s your situation, consider becoming a “backup only” driver. Backup drivers are contacted by a FISH phoner one or two working days before an assignment, and offer to drive only when they are available and willing. Like other drivers, backup drivers can be listed as Boston or local.
HOW TO GET DRIVING ASSIGNMENTS
- Expect a phone call before 6 p.m. two FISH operating days before your driving date. In any given month, the phoner who will call you is listed two FISH operating days before you on the monthly schedule. If you will not be available during these hours, please contact the phoner ahead of time. If you received the assignment by voicemail, call the phoner to confirm that you have the information.
- When the phoner calls, record—
- The client’s name and address
- The client’s phone number
- Pick-up time and destination
- Time of return, including whether the client is having a procedure that might result in a pickup delay, such as cataract surgery.
- Any special conditions. Does the client use a wheelchair or have other ambulatory concerns? Will there be a companion?
3. Call the client and confirm the ride that evening. Double-check all information with the client. Ask for the time of the appointment in case you want to adjust the pick-up time. Also, we suggest you get the name and phone number of the client’s doctor in case of an unanticipated delay with the appointment. For cancellation purposes, give the client your phone number. If you carry a cell phone and don’t plan to wait, you may give the number to your client at drop-off and ask that the doctor’s office call you when the client is ready to leave.
Accepting & declining assignments. You may decline a driving assignment for any reason. Your decision is final and will be respected.
Do not accept direct ride requests. Refer clients to the answering service, 781-861-9300.
FISH rides are free-of-charge. Drivers are volunteers. Do not accept tips or other forms of compensation from clients. The driver may want to suggest to the client that they can donate to FISH, and hand them a donor envelope.
Parking fees & tolls. Clients are expected to pay for parking fees and tolls. You can be reimbursed by the FISH treasurer for out-of-pocket parking expenses and tolls a client cannot cover. Don’t forget to get a receipt!
Donations. FISH supplies drivers with preaddressed envelopes to give to clients who wish to make a donation. Think about keeping some handy in your glove compartment.
Feel free to use our contact form or call the driver coordinator, listed in the membership directory and monthly newsletter, with any questions or concerns.
Thank you for helping FISH help others!
Please read the FISH Driver Information flier for complete information about your very important role!