When disaster strikes, the American Red Cross workforce relies on its signature red-and-white fleet of vehicles to deliver relief services into impacted communities. As the Los Angeles Region’s Fleet Associate, volunteer Tim Hokanson ensures the organization can always rely on a fully operational fleet to safely deploy in the wake of emergencies.
During his first year at McBride High School in Long Beach, CA, Tim wanted to become involved in community outreach and joined the Red Cross as a youth leader. No sooner was his training complete, he started teaching First-Aid and CPR to fourth and fifth graders.
When Tim turned 18, the logistics manager Taylor Hastings reached out to ask if he would assist in managing the region’s fleet of 35 emergency vehicles; some of the vehicles needed urgent maintenance and Tyler found Tim the perfect candidate for the project. Tragically, Tyler passed away unexpectedly and what was initially a supporting role for Tim morphed into managing the Long Beach fleet at first and in short order, transformed into managing the LA Region’s entire fleet.
“I want our disaster responders to know they can rely on a healthy fleet at all hours of the day and night” Tim said, “I want our volunteers and staff to get where they need to go safely and on time."
In addition to tracking all the vehicles between LA’s five-chapter offices, Tim coordinates daily fleet reservations, maintenance and documentation. He also manages minor tasks like replacing car batteries and wiper blades, but the larger repairs like changing headlights, taillights and air filters are sent to the mechanic.
Like many Red Cross volunteers, Tim’s duties involve being on-call at strange hours, including the middle of the night when a vehicle might need a tow, or a stranded driver needs to get back home.
“I don’t mind being able to help my colleagues at any hour. It feels great being part of a group of people willing to work around the clock. We are always there when we are needed and it’s my job to make sure we’re a fully functional organization.”