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Red Cross testing next-generation emergency response vehicle in central Illinois

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[January 25, 2013]  SPRINGFIELD, DECATUR -- The local American Red Cross region, which includes the Illinois Capital Area Chapter and Mid-Illinois Chapter, is part of a national test of the next generation of the organization's emergency response vehicle. This vehicle will be housed at the chapter in Quincy but will visit area chapters this weekend.

The local tour schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday, Jan. 26 -- 1045 Outer Park Road, Springfield. Volunteers and the public are welcome to attend from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A private media tour will be available from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

  • Sunday, Jan. 27 -- 2674 N. Main St., Decatur. Volunteers, the public and media are welcome to attend starting at 1:30 p.m.

"This is an incredible opportunity to be a part of shaping the future of our services and the iconic Red Cross response vehicle," said Colleen Stone, Illinois Capital Area Chapter CEO. "Local volunteers will help ensure that this redesigned vehicle will effectively provide help, hope and comfort to people in need after disasters across the country."

This region is one of two dozen Red Cross sites across the country involved in the testing and assessment program for the new vehicles.

The prototypes are the result of a five-year process engaging Red Cross volunteers, staff, partners and the design community to create a vehicle that is more cost-efficient and provides a better experience for both Red Cross staff and the people being helped. Currently, the Red Cross has more than 320 emergency response vehicles in 49 states that are used after disasters like home fires, tornadoes and floods to serve meals, snacks and beverages to families and distribute relief supplies.

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"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 Carl Baker, Mid-Illinois chapter CEO. "With the help of communities such as ours, we'll be able to make sure that the new design meets the needs of the people who turn to us for help after disasters."

[Text from file received from the Central Illinois Region of the American Red Cross]

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