PHONER COMMITMENT AND SCHEDULING
How much time? Phoners usually sign up to make calls to drivers one day a month, for a typical commitment of about two to three hours a month.
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 phoner coordinator contact you each month to schedule your volunteer day. You’ll receive the monthly schedule in the mail, or by email if you submit your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rescheduling. If you need to reschedule your phoning day, you are expected to swap with another phoner (refer to the schedule) and notify the answering service (781-861-9300), the phoner coordinator, and your assigned drivers.
HOW TO ARRANGE RIDES
1. Retrieve ride requests. Between 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm on your calling day, call the answering service at 781-861-9300. Be prepared to write down this information:
• the client’s name
• phone number
• pick-up time
• time of return
• possible delay. Is the client having a procedure that might result in a delay, such as cataract surgery?
• any special conditions. For example, does the client use a wheelchair or have other ambulatory concerns? Will the client bring a companion?
2. Plan driving assignments. The monthly schedule specifies local (to destinations in Lexington and vicinity) and Boston drivers, and other driver preferences. Plan driving assignments based on time and destination. The names and phone numbers of the drivers you will contact appear two FISH operating days after your name on the monthly schedule. You may ask drivers to take more than one assignment on a given day.
3. Call drivers. Between 4:00 and 6:00 pm, call drivers with their assignments. Give each driver all the client’s information and remind the driver to confirm the ride with the client. If there’s no answer, try later or leave a voicemail with the client’s information, while making sure to tell the driver to call you back to confirm the assignment. Call all drivers, even if you have no assignments for them. Drivers may decline a driving assignment for any reason. The driver’s decision is final and must be respected.
4. Leave a message with the answering service identifying the driver for each client.
NOT ENOUGH DRIVERS?
If you’re unable to reach a driver by early evening, or you have more rides than scheduled drivers can handle, refer to the current back-up driver list or the membership directory. If, after making a diligent effort, you still can’t fill a ride request, contact the client as quickly and tactfully as possible so he/she can make other arrangements.
Always feel free to call the phoner coordinator, listed in the membership directory and monthly newsletter, if you ever have any questions or concerns.