The American Red Cross of Greater Idaho is unveiling two new vehicles in Eastern Idaho that will help the humanitarian organization respond to disasters and collect and deliver lifesaving blood.
A new Red Cross emergency response vehicle is based in Eastern Idaho. These vehicles are on the frontline during disasters like wildfires and flooding, delivering food and supplies, often to families cut off from other services. Red Cross deployed a similar vehicle from its fleet to the Lenore and Orofino area in September to help families forced to evacuate during the Clover wildfire.
“This new vehicle will deliver the supplies and comfort families need at a time when they are most vulnerable,” said Scott Davis, Red Cross disaster program manager in Eastern Idaho. “It has features like WiFi, large feeder windows and external lighting that will help our teams better serve their communities during difficult times.”
The Idaho Red Cross also received a Dodge Grand Caravan that will transport lifesaving blood, staff and equipment to and from blood drives. The blood collected at drives across Idaho is taken to the Red Cross lab in Boise for testing and processing and then distributed to area hospitals and cancer treatment centers that depend on it. The Red Cross relies on a reliable fleet to keep medical center shelves stocked.
The annual Red Cross Real Heroes event in Idaho Falls helped raise funds for both vehicles. Last spring Melaleuca hosted the event, which honors heroes in Eastern Idaho who have helped save the life of another. Melaleuca also gave the Red Cross a large gift to help purchase the new emergency response vehicle and the Caravan that helps transfer staff and equipment to and from blood drives.
Melaleuca also is a loyal Red Cross blood partner.
“Melaleuca has worked closely with the American Red Cross over the years to relieve suffering and provide hope to those affected by natural disaster, emergency and catastrophe,” Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot said. “These specialized vehicles will enhance the lives of people who are most in need and be a tremendous resource for the entire region as the Idaho Red Cross continues to run to the rescue.”
Because of COVID-19, there won’t be a Real Heroes event in 2021, but the Red Cross thanks all the partners who stepped up and helped fund these mission-critical vehicles. Idaho Falls Community Hospital, Bingham Memorial Hospital, Battelle Energy Alliance – Idaho National Laboratory and Fluor also made noteworthy contributions.
“We couldn’t deliver our mission without the generosity of our donors and the dedication of our volunteers,” said Bryce Sitter, Red Cross chief development officer.