Lake Charles Red Cross testing new emergency response vehicle

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A new and improved Red Cross vehicle now sits in the front of the Lake Charles facility.

South Louisiana Red Cross chapters are participating in a test of the next generation of new response vehicles.

The new ERVs are smaller, making it easier for the Red Cross to reach those in need regardless of narrow roads.

"It will actually make it easier for your chapters and people to get to them because there is a lot of areas we can't get the big trucks," Volunteer Joyce Bruce said. "With them being smaller, it will make it easier for them to service communities."

They also include two serving windows where volunteers can distribute meals and snacks or relief supplies to people in need of assistance.

The prototypes come after five years of research done between volunteers, staff, partners and people in the community.

The newer vehicles also include a display screen that can be used to list available items and times when traveling to different areas.

Currently, the Red Cross uses more than 300 emergency response vehicles throughout the United States.

"Over the next decade, the Red Cross expects to replace our current fleet of response vehicles while saving millions of dollars by switching to a more effective platform with reduced maintenance costs," said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Red Cross Disaster Services.

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