Red Cross shows off new response vehicle

Jarrett Barrios, left, Alan Day and Gerry Mahoney.

Jarrett Barrios, left, Alan Day and Gerry Mahoney.

Jarrett Barrios, CEO of the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts, met with Cambridge Assistant Fire Chief Gerard Mahoney Thursday to show off a new Emergency Response Vehicle prototype that is hitting streets throughout the region.

Eastern Massachusetts is participating in a national pilot program of the “next-generation” Emergency Response Vehicle [ERV] project. An ERV is used to deliver resources and food to those in need, and the new design is intended to replace the current platform and be more efficient, effective and useful at the local level. Today it stopped at the East Cambridge Fire House.

“This narrower model is going to make response to urban disaster scenes a lot easier,” said Barrios. “It can also be quickly transformed to serve thousands of meals a day after a big disaster.”ERV 058

The new design is less expensive to buy, has a longer life span and has ample storage for supplies and meals. The vehicles have external dynamic messaging which provides the opportunity for drivers to share real-time information and situational awareness. The prototype will make its way along the East coast next week for further testing.

Red Cross ERVs have delivered more than 11 million meals and snacks to neighborhoods affected by Superstorm Sandy. The American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts has deployed 60 people in the relief effort, and continues to deploy volunteers to help the recovery.

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