Ancient Greek philosopher Plato is credited with saying, “Necessity is the mother of Invention.” Five years ago, Dana Larue saw a need. Her father needed to get from his home in Iowa City to an appointment and was in a wheelchair.
Dana’s father was referred to a service that picked him up at his home, took him to his appointment, and got him home afterwards. Dana at the time was a nurse in Muscatine and didn’t know of any service like that here, so she and her husband Ken decided to give it a shot.
“To get started we had to find one wheelchair van and get the insurance. We hired my niece part time to help with trips. At the beginning, they were very infrequent, so Dana and I kept our jobs,” said Ken Larue. Ken worked at Allsteel for 28 years. A few years ago, the business started to grow, and Ken left his role at Allsteel to work fulltime with Non-Emergency Transport.
The core business is to take people to and from doctor’s appointments, but they do more than that. “When we got started, we thought a major service we could provide is to bring people’s loved ones from the nursing home to family get-togethers. We do a little bit of that, but at the beginning we thought it would be much more,” said Ken. “If you know you have a doctor’s appointment or need to be somewhere on Friday, call us a couple days ahead of time, and we can most likely get you on the schedule.”
The service has grown significantly. “We have 22 employees and 15 vehicles and will probably add two more vehicles by the end of the week, which would give us eight wheelchair vans and eight sedans.” Ken also noted, “We got involved with Medicaid and opened up a new segment of business.”
Non-Emergency Transport has purchased a vacated church at 922 Hancock Street which will be their new corporate headquarters. “We will be renovating and putting up a building that will allow us to store our fleet and be a central location for people to find us.” Ken added, “Our drivers enjoy it. To the man our drivers enjoy it; they get to meet people they never would have talked to. Most of them are just going to a doctor’s appointment, dentist appointment or physical therapy. It is just getting to know people and we have become friends with them. We have clients request certain drivers because they have developed a friendship with our drivers.”
The company has taken patients as far as Chicago and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. “We also do a lot of airport transportation as well,” said Ken.
To schedule a ride, or if you have any questions about the type of services offered, call (563) 299-3513.