30 Years of Work in the Jail | Friendly Wheels | Issue 108

30 Years of Work in the Jail & Courthouse

Friendly Wheels, Issue 108
March 2017

With Amigo owner Brian Taylor of Miami, Fla.

Sometimes, all it takes is being in the right place at the right time. For Brian Taylor, coming across his first Amigo couldn’t have happened at a better time.

Brian, who has cerebral palsy, was introduced to his first Amigo while working for the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department in Miami, Fla. Before becoming an owner, Brian was using crutches to get around his workplace. It wasn’t until a work incident where he fell and injured himself that he realized he needed to make a change. “After this happened, I took it upon myself to be more of an asset and not a liability,” Brian recalls.

One day while going through one of the company warehouses, Brian spotted an original yellow front-drive Amigo. Looking to improve his mobility at work, Brian found this as a perfect opportunity. “I asked one of the supervisors if it was being used and he said no, so I made a deal to maintain it and use it.”

Throughout his career, Brian always had a spare Amigo ready to go. “I never wanted to miss a day of work so I always kept a back-up just in case.” he said. Having owned six different Amigos over his career, Brian says he relied on his RT Express the most. “My champagne-colored RT Express I considered to be my work horse,” he said. “I used it mostly for working inside the jail and in courthouse settings. I don’t know how many miles I put on it!”

Brian started working for the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department in 1981. He held multiple positions as a correctional aid, inmate services technician and corrections technician before retiring in 2016. With roughly 35 years in the workforce, Brian spent over 30 of them using an Amigo. “Honestly, my Amigo became an extension of myself,” he said. “It made it easier for me to do my job and to contribute just like anybody else.”

After retiring last year, Brian enjoys spending his extra time with his wife, Iara, and family. Though they don’t have any plans made just yet, they’re interested in traveling to Washington D.C. and Montana, as well as Iara’s hometown of Sau Paulo, Brazil.

Brian also enjoys doing things in his neighborhood, and he normally takes a friend along with him. When Brian goes out, his 12-year old Maltese dog, Sleepy, loves to come along for a ride. “Sleepy normally hops on the side of the platform of my Amigo,” Brian said. “It’s nice to have him there as my co-pilot!”

 

Making Life Easier Making

with Shelley Peterman Schwarz

For wet and snowy weather conditions, it is important for any POV/scooter or wheelchair ramp to have a non-slip surface. Here are a few tips that can increase safety on your ramp:

  • Mix silica sand with paint and paint the surface of the ramp
  • Rolled roofing paper can be tacked down securely to provide traction

Find more tips like these in Shelley’s book, Home Accessibility: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier — click here to buy it on Amazon.com!

 

Health Tip

Did you know eliminating too many fats from your diet can be harmful to your health? While it’s important to regulate fat consumption, not enough fats in your diet cause irregular hormonal levels which can lead to depression.

Add more fats to your diet by eating healthy fats such as fish, tree nuts, avocado, coconuts and eggs.

For more health tips from Dr. Kehres, click here.