Bill Parks, Atlanta Red Cross volunteer and Emergency Communications Response Vehicle (ECRV) operator, provided a tour of an ECRV which was being prepped for possible deployment following the U.S. landfall of a storm which is now brewing in tropics.
The ECRV was designed and created for the American Red Cross by Disaster Services Technology paid and volunteer staff, to provide communications links between disaster relief operations and the National Red Cross’ Disaster Operation Center. They include an interoperability switch which allows the Red Cross to communicate with the variety of communication systems based in the nation-wide network of chapters.
The nine base vehicles for the original design, Ford Excursions, were donated by Ford Motor Company; subsystems and components were primarily acquired through funding via the Disaster Technology Integration Program (DSTIP). ECRVs are garaged in secure locations around the United States, and deployed when disasters require communication support. Operators are called on as needed to drive the vehicles to and from disaster locations and operate the systems until communications can be otherwise restored.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.