If you are a disabled military member or military family member who either has trouble getting out of your car to pump gas or getting the attention of a gas station attended to do it for you, life is about to get just a little bit easier.
Thanks to a $1.12 million authorization from the Department of Defense (DoD), exchanges on Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps bases nationwide will install the FuelCall system at 370 gas stations worldwide.
The system features a large, blue button installed on a stand meant to be accessible from a car window so that the user does not need to get out to find a call button. Below the button are posted hours that the service is available.
The service is being installed thanks, in part, to Iraq veteran Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a democrat from Illinois, who lost her legs and partial use of her right arm to an RPG in 2004.
“All persons with disabilities, including thousands of returning veterans, active service members, as well as military families with physical disabilities, understand the difficulty of filling up their tanks at gas stations that are supposedly accessible,” Duckworth said in a statement. "Ensuring that disabled Americans can consistently and safely refuel their vehicles is critical to their ability to live independent and fulfilling lives."
In the past disabled patrons who needed help at the pump had to get the attention of an attendant by honking their horns, flashing their lights or other similar, potentially ineffective methods. Not very handy.
The system will only be available at Exchanges when more than one attendant is on duty. Users must have a disability placard or plates to use the service, officials said.
Right now about 16 AAFES stations have installed FuelCall. Officials said 38 more stations are going to start offering the service in January, with 215 more in the U.S. and OCONUS by May.
Photo courtesy FuelCall via Twitter.