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How does one become a volunteer with FISH?

Volunteering for FISH can be a very rewarding service. FISH needs drivers and telephoners. Consider the following information and see if there is a match with your interest and time.

Potential drivers should enjoy helping others, meeting new people, have their own car, a clean driving record, and be prepared to pay for gas. (There is partial compensation for gas). Insurance coverage is provided through FISH and the driver's personal insurance. Drivers need to be strong enough to lift walkers into the car if the client requires that appliance. Any adult wishing to volunteer for FISH should call the 211 help line or 1-877-211-8667 and ask for a referral to a FISH Director for further information.

Potential telephoners should be comfortable with taking and transmitting messages and establishing collegial relationships with FISH drivers. A telephoner needs to have fax or email service, personal phone access, and be willing to devote at least one day per month for this important link between the client and the driver. A new schedule is designed each month, so you are not committing to more than a month at a time.

All new volunteers receive a personal orientation to the program.

FISH Volunteer - Driver Information                                            

Thank you for your interest in becoming a FISH driver.

Transportation is provided only for medical and health related appointments. Drivers are asked to select one or two days a month to be on call and/or to become an alternate driver for the month (sometimes assigned driver is fully booked). A new schedule is designed every month so you are not committing to more than a month at a time.

When a telephoner gets a message about a client who needs a ride on your day, he/she will call you. The telephoner will give you the name, address, and phone number of the client, and the date, time and place of the appointment. It is then your responsibility to call the client to make arrangements, get directions, and explain how they will recognize you. You can give the client your home phone # so that if there is a change in their appointment they can call you. You drive the client to the appointment and either wait for them or come back to get them. Some days you may have more than one client. Drivers schedule as many as appointments as they can but they sometimes need to tell the telephoner that they cannot fit another ride into their day. In this case the telephoner will need to search out another driver. You are free to request no smoking or any other offensive activity in your car. We do not drive individuals requiring wheel chairs. Gadabout has facilities for these types of transports. FISH does accept walkers.

If the weather is bad and you hesitate to drive in it, you should call the client and cancel the ride. FISH has insurance to cover any liability problems associated with our service. This is secondary coverage – comes into play only after your personal insurance coverage is exceeded.               

FISH Volunteer - New Pilot Program 

Drivers who would be interested in participating in the pilot program to drive clients to Major Medical Centers are requested to call FISH Executive Director at 607-257-5692 for further information. Basic details - approximate round trip mileage to Rochester is 180 miles, Syracuse is 112 miles and Sayre is 76 miles. Mileage reimbursement will be at the approved Internal Revenue rate.

FISH Volunteer - Telephoner Information                                            

Thank you for your interest to become a telephoner for FISH. The telephoner works from home on the days she or he has chosen. We have no agency office. When a client needs a ride from FISH, they call the 211 help line and asks for FISH. 211 forwards daily requests by email to the scheduled phoner by email at 5:00 PM. Telephoners get the following information: Name, Address, Phone number Date and Time and Place of appointment. Any other pertinent information the client gave the answering service. The telephoner then calls the driver scheduled for that date and gives him or her the client information. If the scheduled driver is unable to take that client, the telephoner calls drivers on the substitute list until one accepts the ride. If you cannot arrange for a ride, you then call the client with apologies.