When Norm Grimnes retired from his long-time employment with Southern Pacific Railroad, he found himself with “plenty of time” on his hands.

His son-in-law, Lompoc Valley Medical Center controller Dustin Cheney, suggested he might consider giving some time to the hospital.

So for the past three years, Norm has taken an early morning shift from 8 to 10 a.m. one day a week, staffing the medical-surgical waiting room as a Blue Coat volunteer.

It comes second nature to him – he also volunteers at the Lompoc federal penitentiary, and for the past 30 years has volunteered at the front gate on Friday nights for high school football games. He also volunteers in Los Angeles through his church.

“It’s nice to meet people and help out,” Norm says. “I get them where they’re supposed to be, when they’re supposed to be there.”

He said until Dustin talked to him, he didn’t really know what kind of volunteers the hospital would use.

“Now I got one of my buddies involved,” he said of another Blue Coat volunteer, who comes in at 6 a.m. right before Norm’s shift.