Fuel call helps people with disabilities get gas

March 31, 2013 6:51:35 AM PDT
The BP gas station on Dempster and McCormick in Skokie is a busy place. They have several gas pumps, and two of them have a fuel call system to aid those with disabilities.

"They simply ring this from their car, and it lets the employees know that somebody needs assistance at pump 14. . . Inside they have an alert system with a strobe, so it's very clear that this is designated for this island," said Pat Hughes, founder of Inclusion Solution.

Hughes created the fuel call system ten years ago.

"We learn there are about 15 million drivers with disabilities in America. And as the world went from a full service to a self service world, people were struggling getting gas in their car," said Hughes. "We have about 500 gas stations that have our system."

Bruce Hirsch started coming to the gas station after a friend told him about the fuel call.

"I have arthritis, and I have wounds that won't heal, so I'm stuck with using canes, a walker," said Hirsch. "I thought I give it a try, and it works really well."

BP manager Felicia Campbell is pleased with the system.

"Makes it easier because we're helping people who need our help. We're able to help them do the things they're not able to do," said Campbell. "We also have a lot of people that come in who've heard from word of mouth about the fuel pump and use it. So it's been going real good."

Although a new law requires gas stations to only post a phone number, Campbell says that system is not always as helpful as the fuel call.

"When you're really busy, you tend not to answer the phone because you can't get to it. But having the button is much better because that person can hear it," Campbell said.