The Revelstoke Red Cross depot has been closed temporarily until four more volunteers are found to run the facility, its organizer says.
Marie McKiernan, who manages the health equipment loan depot, said the facility closed after it was moved from its location at the old Big Eddy School to the Farwell School, and it will remain closed until more volunteers can be found.
“I don’t want to shut it down. It will delay it, but I have to open in Revelstoke,” she told the Times Review. “It’s really essential we open there because it’s so far for people to go get equipment.”
Due to the temporary closure, McKiernan said residents will have to travel abroad to receive equipment; the closest depot to Revelstoke is in Salmon Arm. In the meantime, the equipment has been brought back to Kelowna for cleaning.
The depot supplies people with medical equipment ranging from crutches to walkers to wheelchairs to bath aids and more free of charge for a period of three months. Anyone from a child to a senior can get equipment from the depot, provided they have a referral from Interior Health.
“We provide that equipment to them on a short-term loan basis, which is usually three months, and by that time the health care providers want them up and moving so they’re not dependent on equipment,” said McKiernan. “Otherwise they have to rent it from a pharmacy and a lot of times they don’t have all the pieces in, plus it’s very expensive to rent or purchase that equipment.”
Before it’s closure, the depot was open on an on-call basis. McKiernan wants to re-open with fixed hours, three days per week. She already has two volunteers and needs four more to re-open.
“Now we have to get it operational as a depot that’s open on set hours and that’s what I’m trying to pull together here,” she said.
If you’re interested in volunteering, contact McKiernan at 250-491-8443 x. 201 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.