Polk County Transit Service and driver honored for service | Community Spirit
Bartow, Florida -- Polk County Transit Services was awarded two honors this week from the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged for its consistent commitment to providing excellent services to Polk County residents and visitors.
Transportation Disadvantaged Commissioner Steven Holmes presented transit driver Ralph Gagnier with the Driver of the Year award in front of a crowd of 300 people at the annual awards banquet at the Renaissance Hotel in Orlando.
This is the second consecutive year a Polk driver has won this award. Brenda Bland was the recipient in 2011.
Polk County Transit Services’ customer service team was recognized as the Scheduler/Dispatcher Team of the Year. In 2010 and 2011, Polk dispatchers Hector Betancourt and Delisia Pelt won individual awards in that category.
"Customer service is extremely important to us,” said Polk County Transit Manager Paul Simmons in a release. “Knowing we have done everything we can to assist our residents is what we strive for everyday.
“During these economic times, more folks are seeking our services. It's imperative we provide the very best experience possible.”
Gagnier received the honor as Driver of the Year due to his reaction when a routine client pickup became a life-saving event. Recently, Gagnier did not hear the usual response when he knocked on the door of a regular wheelchair-assist client. Instead, Gagnier heard what he described as a muffled voice that was difficult to understand.
Gainger assured his client that he would get help and immediately notified the dispatch office to contact EMS, then comforted her while waiting for EMS to arrive. This elderly grateful client now refers to Gagnier as her “angel”.
The Scheduler/Dispatcher or the Year award was presented to the Polk team of dedicated public servants who answered more than 92,000 calls in 2011, and are on pace to exceed that number in 2012. Their efforts provided for the scheduling and performance of 111,276 trips to 2,830 clients.
“The continuous teamwork of this select group is the oil that makes our Transportation Disadvantaged program run,” Simmons said. “It enables our clients to maintain their much-valued independence.
"Our staff works hard every day because they see the need and care for the residents we serve."
Release courtesy Pasco County BOCC.