Every day, the American Red Cross helps people who face disasters. Emergency response vehicles are a necessity to getting that work done. Now the American Red Cross of Northern New England has a new van that will provide relief in urgent situations.
Lance Tobey is the only emergency response vehicle driver in northern Vermont.
“So I had a home fire, when I was a kid with my father, and the Red Cross came out and helped me,” Disaster Program Manager Lance Tobey said.
Now it’s his mission to help others. The van will transport volunteers, staff and supplies to local disasters, such as floods and home fires.
“So this will give again an opportunity so clients can be safe in here and comfort,” Tobey said. “Also it’s a big billboard, so a lot of people can see it when we go down the road, and let them know we are still here to help everyone.”
It will have cots and blankets for shelters, clean-up kits, as well as food and personal hygiene kits.
“So we call these cambros, they’re just containers that we can store hot foods, and or cold foods to provide to our clients,” Tobey said.
This vehicle can provide up to 600 meals in one day.
“It also gives privacy to the clients that we are helping with financial assistance here so no one is around,” Tobey said.
The van was paid for by donors and will also travel to Maine and New Hampshire. The Executive Director of the American Red Cross in Vermont Kevin Mazuzan said they have over 300 volunteers.
“So it really together is fulfilling our life saving mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of disaster,” Mazuzan said.
Mazuzan believes this van will be there to provide support.
“When disasters strike, that’s really when the critical work of repairing lives begins,” Mazuzan said.
Tobey said the American Red Cross is always looking for more volunteers.