For Varsity resident Richard McBride, getting in or out of his condo means a call to the fire department. That’s because the elevator that takes him to his third floor suite is broken, and has been for three months. Even though it’s part of their mandate, he hates calling first responders for help.

“These people are saving lives,” he says,  “These people are rescuing people in life threating situations. All I want to do is go up a set of stairs.”

When Mike Jennings of Canwest Elevator saw CTV Calgary’s story about McBride, he offered up a piece of equipment that will take him up and down the stairs until the elevator is repaired.

“It has a little motor and it runs up and down the stairs, with like a little tank tread on the bottom,” Jennings says.

Jennings was dismayed to learn McBride had been stranded.  Canwest does similar repair projects, but Jennings says he wouldn’t leave a disabled resident without a way to get out, not only for convenience but for safety reasons. 

CTV spoke with Fujitec, the company responsible for the elevator repair at McBride’s building. The company says it’s waiting for a part, it expects the repair will take another three weeks, and it empathizes with McBride. The condo management company did not return our call.

Canwest has offered to let McBride keep the lift free of charge until the elevator is repaired.

The Alberta Committee of Citizens with Disabilities says Richard McBride may have legal grounds to seek financial relief from his condo board, but he would need to hire a lawyer.

In Alberta, new condos must be constructed with elevators, but there is no provision in the building code for maintaining elevators for people with disabilities in homes they already own.

McBride has a GoFundMe campaign to offset some of the cost he’s incurred which can be found here.