Hope on Wheels: American Red Cross Central California Region Debuts New Emergency Response Vehicle in Central Valley

September 08, 2023

Bank of the Sierra funds new vehicle – expanding Central Valley disaster services.

Visalia, Calif. (Sept. 7, 2023) – Every day, the American Red Cross Central California Region delivers help and hope to people in need, all made possible thanks to the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. In the Central Valley, the Red Cross responds to hundreds of disasters each year, from home fires, to wildfires and more. Red Cross volunteers provide vital assistance – like food, shelter, emergency supplies, health services and more – to those affected.

“Thanks to Bank of the Sierra and their generosity, Red Cross volunteers have a new tool to deliver the Red Cross mission during disasters. This new Emergency Response Vehicle will help neighbors in need and deliver comfort and care where it’s needed most,” says Lori Wilson, executive director of the Red Cross Central Valley Chapter. “The American Red Cross is on the frontlines of disaster response, supporting families across the country who are struggling to cope. This new vehicle will serve as a beacon of hope.”

More frequent and intense disasters are ravaging communities and upending lives. As extreme weather events increase, more people need help from the Red Cross. This investment in disaster relief services comes as Tulare County becomes one of 15 communities across the country that has a Red Cross Community Adaptation Program, which will focus on building strong partnerships with local nonprofits to increase access to health and mental health services, nutritious food and safe housing in the face of climate emergencies.

“We are thrilled to have helped the Red Cross build and deliver a new, state-of-the-art Emergency Response Vehicle to the Central Valley,” said Kevin McPhaill, Bank of the Sierra President and CEO. “I’m thankful that our Bank had the opportunity to support a project that will have an incredibly positive impact on the communities both our organizations serve.”

The Red Cross currently has 400 Emergency Response Vehicles stationed across the United States, including eight across the Central California Region. The Red Cross deploys Emergency Response Vehicles into disaster-affected areas, where Red Cross volunteers can utilize these vehicles to deliver food and water, emergency supplies, clean-up kits and more – serving as our hope on wheels.

Iconic Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles have been in use for decades. Next-generation vehicles, like the one recently unveiled in the Central Valley, have many new features that help volunteers assist disaster survivors more efficiently. Wider windows, brighter lighting, and increased interior space mean a more comfortable experience for those accessing Red Cross services such as water and meal distribution, casework, delivery of emergency supplies and more. Next-generation Emergency Response Vehicles are also more fuel efficient, have lower maintenance costs and have longer lifespans than previous models.

Media Information:
The new Central Valley Emergency Response Vehicle will be unveiled during an outdoor celebration hosted at the Bank of the Sierra Headquarters in Porterville on Monday, September 11 at 3:00 p.m. The Red Cross invites the press to attend the ribbon cutting at the Bank of the Sierra Headquarters located at Bank of the Sierra, 90 N Main St, Porterville, CA 93257. The event will begin at 3:00 p.m. and we are asking for media to please arrive at 2:45 p.m. where you will be greeted by the Red Cross Fund Development team. For more information on the event and to RSVP, please contact Taylor Poisall at taylor.poisall2@redcross.org.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds, and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossCCR.

About Bank of the Sierra
Bank of the Sierra is in its 46th year of operations and is the largest independent bank headquartered in the South San Joaquin Valley. Bank of the Sierra is a community-centric regional bank, which offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking services through full-service branches located within the counties of Tulare, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara. The Bank also maintains an online branch and provides specialized lending services through agricultural credit centers in Templeton, and a loan production office in Roseville. Bank of the Sierra was recognized as one of the strongest and top-performing community banks in the country, with a 5-star rating from Bauer Financial.