PRESENTATION: Eastern Kentucky Chapter of the American Red Cross (ARC) received a $150,000 grant from American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation and Kentucky Power to purchase an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) for eastern Kentucky. ARC unveiled the new and improved ERV to the public during a ceremony held on Oct. 2. at AEP in Coal Run.
Medical Leader│Photo by ABIGAIL GIBSON

Kentucky Power awards $150K ARC grant

By: 
Abigail Gibson

PIKEVILLE — Eastern Kentucky Chapter of the American Red Cross announced a grant of $150,000 from American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation and Kentucky Power to purchase an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) for eastern Kentucky and 5,000 meals for distribution during any future emergency.

 

The presentation was made during a ceremony held on Oct. 2.

 

"Eastern Kentucky is no stranger to natural disasters like floods yet has never had its own dedicated ERV," Kentucky Power President Matt Satterwhite said. "That changes now. This modern vehicle will help the Red Cross quickly respond in our communities during emergencies."

 

He said the devastation resulting from the recent hurricanes, flooding and power outages that followed show the value this vehicle will bring to our region and beyond.

 

"It really shows how strong Kentucky is and what we can do. I just challenge all of our corporate partners to help fund things like this so we are making things better, every day," Satterwhite added.

 

This is the first-ever dedicated ERV in eastern Kentucky to serve our region and the surrounding areas to help those in need.

 

The Red Cross uses ERV's with response, relief and recovery operations to provide food, water, personal hygiene kits, blankets, cots, volunteer help and other assistance to those in need. The new vehicle is a mobile feeding station capable of serving up to 25,000 meals to people affected by hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, forest fires, blizzards, ice storms or other natural disasters.

 

Executive Director of the eastern Kentucky Chapter of the American Red Cross Joanna King said the ERV will not only be used for major disasters but also for every day disasters.

 

"We're really excited to have the partnership with AEP Foundation and Kentucky Power to get the new ERV," she said. "We can feed first responders out of this during any major event, such as building fires, apartment fires, along with feeding our neighbors and helping out when it's the worst days of their lives."

 

King said the vehicle will be set to deploy nationwide.

 

"The next time there is a major disaster and we need to send our people, we can send the ERV vehicle from eastern Kentucky with eastern Kentucky volunteers and 25,000 meals," she said.

 

King said they are incredibly grateful to Kentucky Power and AEP Foundation.

 

"The eastern Kentucky Chapter Emergency Response Vehicle is a tremendous asset to the chapter, Kentucky, our neighbors in Southern Ohio and West Virginia and the nation," she said. "This gift is truly a game changer for the American Red Cross disaster relief, response and recovery in eastern Kentucky and will serve this area for 10 or more years to come."

 

King said Red Cross expects the ERV to arrive in January or February.

 

"Hopefully with AEP we can take the ERV around and tour the communities and show it off. Open it up and let you guys get inside," she concluded.