OATS driver goes above and beyond

 Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 9:09 am

Pictured above from left to right are David Buchholz, Tom White, OATS driver Ralph Crank and Milton Gillean pictured with Mrs. Shelton. David, Tom and Milton are from A & W Communications, Inc.

Pictured above from left to right are David Buchholz, Tom White, OATS driver Ralph Crank and Milton Gillean pictured with Mrs. Shelton. David, Tom and Milton are from A & W Communications, Inc.

It’s not uncommon to see an OATS bus no matter where you travel in Missouri. It’s also not uncommon to see an OATS driver volunteering in their communities because they care so much about the people they serve. Ralph Crank is no exception when it comes to caring about his clients.

Crank has been driving for OATS since 2008 and he takes pride in making sure those he serves can continue to live independently in their own homes as long as possible.

This summer, Crank wanted to do more to help an OATS rider who relies on a wheelchair for mobility, but didn’t have a safe way to enter and exit her home in her wheelchair. She needed a ramp to make that task easier. “As a driver for Wendell Shelton of Eolia, it was very difficult for her two caregivers and myself to get her down the front steps of her home while in her wheelchair,” said Crank.

Shelton relies on OATS for transportation to various appointments.

Crank started looking for agencies that could help, but he hit a stumbling block with the leads given to him. He didn’t give up, and instead turned to Tom White, president of A&W Communications, Inc. of Eolia. White and his employees took on the task of providing the materials and building the ramp themselves for Shelton as their way of giving back to their community. A&W Communications is a two-way radio and tower vendor serving Northeast Missouri.

Now, when Crank and his OATS bus come to pick up Shelton, he can rest assured that she can come and go from her home safely.

Thanks to the persistence of OATS driver Crank and the compassion of A&W Communications, Inc. staff, this is a problem solved.

For more information about OATS, Inc., visit their website at www.oatstransit.org.

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