By Brianna Kelly, American Red Cross
Every day, the American Red Cross Southern California Region delivers help and hope to people in need, all made possible thanks to the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. In Imperial County, the Red Cross responds to dozens of disasters each year, from home fires, to wildfires and more. Red Cross volunteers provide vital assistance – like food, shelter, emergency supplies, health services and more – to those affected.
Now, Red Cross volunteers in Imperial County have an exciting new tool to deliver the Red Cross mission during disasters: a next-generation Emergency Response Vehicle. “We are thrilled to have this new Emergency Response Vehicle in Imperial County,” says Sean Mahoney, Regional CEO of the Red Cross Southern California Region. “This vehicle will allow us to provide even greater support for Imperial County residents and first responders during emergencies.”
The Red Cross currently has 400 Emergency Response Vehicles stationed across the United States, including eight in the Southern California Region. The Red Cross deploys Emergency Response Vehicles into disaster-affected areas, where Red Cross volunteers can utilize these vehicles to deliver food and water, emergency supplies, clean-up kits and more – hope on wheels.
Iconic Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles have been in use for decades. Next-generation vehicles, like the one recently unveiled in Imperial County, have many new features that help volunteers assist disaster survivors more efficiently. Wider windows, brighter lighting, and increased interior space mean a more comfortable experience for those accessing Red Cross services such as water and meal distribution, casework, delivery of emergency supplies and more. Next-generation Emergency Response Vehicles are also more fuel efficient, have lower maintenance costs, and have longer lifespans than previous models.
The new Imperial County Emergency Response Vehicle was unveiled during an outdoor celebration hosted at the Imperial Valley Food Bank. Alford Distributing donated water for the event, as community members enjoyed food, disaster preparedness training, and also had the opportunity to learn from Red Cross volunteers about the new response vehicle.
The purchase of the new Emergency Response Vehicle for Imperial County was made possible thanks to over 60 donors, including Imperial Irrigation District and the Wells Fargo Foundation. “We are so grateful to the support of donors, whose generosity has allowed us to bring this vital resource to Imperial County,” says Mahoney. “Thanks to these donors, we can utilize our new Emergency Response Vehicle to help neighbors in need and deliver comfort and care where it’s needed most.”