Larimer County truck finds new life as Red Cross emergency vehicle

A donation from the Larimer County is about to lighten the load for local Red Cross workers who respond to disasters and set up emergency shelters.

After months of negotiations, patience and hard work by volunteers, Larimer County representatives and local businesses, the American Red Cross Northern Colorado Chapter is ready to roll with a “new” emergency response vehicle that will enable the chapter to tow a trailer full of disaster supplies to support shelters and other Red Cross disaster responses.

The Chapter will host an open house from 2-4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 14, to unveil the new truck and welcome the public to “touch a truck” and look inside the disaster trailer. At 3 p.m., Sheriff Justin Smith and Red Cross CEO Erin Mounsey will participate in a “passing of the keys” ceremony to officially hand over the truck to the Red Cross.

The vehicle fills an important need for the Northern Colorado Chapter, which previously didn’t own a vehicle for towing the supply trailer and had to turn to volunteers or community partners to tow supplies to shelters and disaster scenes.

The vehicle, a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado, is new to the Red Cross chapter but old to Larimer County, which decommissioned the vehicle after seven years of service and 120,000 miles. Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith recognized that donating the truck to the Red Cross would enable the vehicle to continue serving his community well beyond the county fleet lifetime of the truck.

“The Red Cross has been an excellent partner with the county for many years. We know that we can count on the Red Cross to be there for those affected by disasters throughout Larimer County,” Smith said. “When we found out that the Red Cross had a need that we could help fulfill, we were more than happy to help out.”

The county auctions or donates its fleet vehicles once they’ve reached the end of their cycle and Smith worked with his counterparts to complete the donation and title transfer of this particular emergency response vehicle to the Red Cross.

Although the Red Cross is not a government agency, the Red Cross works closely with government partners like the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office to ensure a coordinated, effective, efficient response to disasters and emergencies. For example, the Sheriff’s Office turns to the Red Cross to set up shelters and evacuation centers during emergencies that require the evacuation of residents.

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