A local nursing home is approaching the coming hurricane season with a plan. It would take considerable time to evacuate wheelchair-bound citizens, something that's hard to come by in the wake of a disaster.
That's why the Lafayette Healthcare Center Nursing Home has an emergency transportation agreement with the Lafayette County School Board.
Rich Wisdahl, an administrator, says, "You're able to load perhaps 20 people into a vehicle and you're able to have one vehicle stop at your door at a time to do that. The time that is taken in that type of situation is far less than having to have perhaps seven, eight, nine vehicles pull up to the same door."
The board will provide school buses to transport up to 60 residents and eight staff members in the event of an emergency.
Fred Ward, Superintendent of Lafayette County Schools, says, "I think it's a very good plan because this helps our community and we're here to serve our community in any way we can. If this will help the residents be safe, then that's what we want.”
Not only do the buses save time, but they serve other benefits for the high-need group.
Rich adds, "During the transportation itself, you're able to have the space to work with the resident. These are people that are not the people you find on the street. These are people who need a lot of service, a lot of attention.”
The emergency transportation plan was initiated four years ago. It has never been used, and Superintendent Ward says he hopes it never will.