Mobility company switches direction on emergency service
Motion Specialties, a retail provider of
mobility products and services in Vancouver, recently indicated a switch
in its stance on providing emergency service to its clients who use
power wheelchairs and other related equipment.
Although Motion Specialties offered no emergency
or after-hours service for its mobility clients when called in January,
owner John Armstrong phoned back two weeks later to say they had
reconsidered and were now going to offer the service. They would be
putting it in place immediately and evaluating the need on a
Previously, when clients phoned in on the store
number, they would be asked either to call back or leave a message for
someone to call them back the next business day. With the new system,
instead of being deferred to the next day, clients will be given an
option to leave a message for a pager if the situation constitutes an
emergency. The technician carrying the pager then responds to the call
and decides with the client whether the situation actually warrants
emergency service or whether the client can wait.
"We've decided we are going to offer that
service," Armstrong said. "We want to be doing the right thing
for our customers, and what we want to do is make sure we're offering
the service they're looking for.
"It's going to cost us some dollars, but
we'll do it and see what the reaction is in the community and whether
it's worthwhile to have."
Regarding getting authorization from the
Ministry of Human Resources on evenings and weekends to perform service
for its clients, Armstrong said, "If they're a ministry client, and
they're a regular client of ours, there's no problem, we just have to
service them. So whether we get paid or not, we just have to take that
Armstrong said not every situation is actually
an "emergency." Often clients can wait and are satisfied with
service the next day, he said. In deciding whether to make a trip, the
technician would first look at the situation with the client on the
Defining what constitutes an emergency is
difficult, explained Armstrong. So how would they know whether to go out
or not? "I don't know how to define that at the moment. It's
something to be determined over the next month or so."
"Our point all along is that it's great to
have an emergency service 24-hours-a-day for our clients. Is it
necessary, given the expense? We just have to make that determination
over the next month or two or three, as we progress."
— Paul Gowan