GREENVILLE – More than a decade ago, the Darke County Red Cross Board of Directors started looking at saving for a response vehicle, and while it’s taken over 15 years, it still wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Dave Knapp Ford, who not only worked quite generously with the Red Cross, but is also providing routine maintenance for the next three years free of charge, said Executive Director Lynne Gump.
“We couldn’t have done this without the support of Dave and the professionalism of Charlie,” said Gump.
Gump said the Ford Explorer’s primary function is to provide transportation for Disaster Action Team members, whether they are responding to a family fire or to set up a shelter for larger scale disaster. It’s stocked with bottles of water, snacks, quilts, teddy bears to help break the ice and if fully equipped to pull the Chapter’s Disaster Trailer, which can set a shelter for 100 people.
Within the past few weeks the vehicle already has gotten it’s “tires wet” on its first disaster calls, carrying coolers of ice and water, comfort items and snacks to cooling centers in New Madison and Union City during the last heat wave, said Gump.
Volunteers and staff previously had to respond using their own vehicles, insurance and gas, proving to be a hindrance for some and not always easy during Darke County winters when roads are snow covered, explained Gump.