Our drivers at Stryder all play rather special roles. As a community transport provider, quality drivers are a crucial part in keeping our wheels in motion (in a manner of speaking). In a 12-month period our fleet of vehicles travel over 203,000 kms transporting our clients over 33,700 trips. That is a lot of trips and dedicated drivers!
One such Stryder driver who is a favourite amongst our staff and clients is Bert Bierhuizen. Let’s meet Bert.
What is your role at Stryder, Bert? – “I am a driver at Stryder. On any given day I might be behind the wheel of a car, van, or bus. My role is to take clients who require transport for personal or medical reasons. At times it means an early start to the day to take them to their medical appointments otherwise it may be a more casual day with group outings to enjoy the sights of Sydney or transporting school students to various sporting activities”.
What does a typical day look like? – “No matter when I start, there is always the standard check on the assigned vehicle to ensure its safety and cleanliness before setting off. I check my schedule to make sure clients are picked up and arrive at their destinations on time. For those with difficulty moving freely, I ensure they can navigate getting to and into the vehicle, including loading walkers and wheelchairs.
However not every day goes to plan, and I must be prepared for extra pickups and hiccups like late cancellations and unavoidable timetable changes.
When I arrive back at the depot I complete the day’s paperwork, making sure the vehicle is left in a good condition for the next day and liaise with office personnel on any matters arising throughout the day. I try and end the day with a smile and usually do”.
Outline a situation where you had to go above and beyond – “I recently picked up a 92-year-old gentleman (let’s call him John) to transport to the RNSH. When I arrived, I met John and escorted him to the vehicle. We had to stop several times for him to catch his breath. Once I had John seated in the vehicle, I noted that he was exhausted and offered him a bottle of water before we set off.
When we arrived, I escorted John inside and he was placed in a wheelchair and looked after by the medical staff. Later I picked John up and returned him home. Due to his level of exhaustion, we walked very slowly up the driveway to his house. Again I made sure John had a drink of water and was comfortable back home before I left.
As I was concerned for John’s welfare, once I returned to the office, I suggested that medical assistance was necessary for this gentleman and to contact his next of kin so further support could be provided”.
What makes your role special? – “My role is special because of the great community service provided by Stryder on so many different levels. It assists older people to continue shop, socially interact and to have a laugh and sometimes a good feed.
It provides an important NDIS service and has allowed me to meet some wonderful young people. The days I take the school activities are very special and full of life and laughter”.
What I do to relax? – “I am an avid sports follower and have supported the mighty Rabbitohs since 1965. In 1985, I started to follow the Geelong Cats (AFL) and in the 1990’s I moved to Queensland and supported the Queensland Reds (RUGBY). I loved attending the last two Rugby World Cups with my family.
On any given Saturday, you will find me in front of TV texting my sons about the horse racing and watching my favourite jockeys. Motor GP is also another favourite sport.
My other interests include watching movies, cracking Sudoku’s, Code Cracker puzzles and reading the occasional book!”.
Thank you for that wonderful chat, Bert.
If you know of anyone interested in considering being a driver for Stryder, please click here for more information https://stryder.org.au/careers/