Extreme weather doesn’t deter services

By Linda Smith

In January much of the United States was hammered by a real-life “polar express”, driving temperatures well below zero and freezing everything in its path. Additionally, many areas saw blizzard conditions.

When extreme weather strikes, people with disabilities still need their support staff.

“CRSI is an essential business,” says HR Director Cindy Marks. “When there is 13Cindy Marksinclement weather, our services do not stop.  Life continues for

people with disabilities and we need to be there for them to provide those services.  We do not want our staff to be in danger, we do want them to be careful by using their own discretion; and giving plenty of notice is required so that we can find appropriate coverage.  CRSI and/or local government agencies try to provide transportation for essential staff during these times to ensure continued services. “

According to Sue Ulis, program administrator for Auglaize, Mercer, and Van Wert Counties; concerns for clients being without support staff were non-existent for her. “We have a great team in my region”, she says as she gives an example:

Dawn Brown, support specialist in Van Wert went to work on a Sunday and was still there on Wednesday covering other shifts because the home manager and other support staff were not able to get out of their driveways. Other support staff personnel in her area did the same.

“Because we expect our direct care professionals to make every effort to make it to work, we also expect our office staff to do the same,” adds Marks. “CRSI offices remain open regardless of the weather outside.  We just ask that everyone be cautious.  Our staff is our number one resource and we sincerely appreciate what they do for our agency and the people we serve.”