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Thursday, January 17, 2013    

BNSF, other Class Is help Red Cross return emergency response vehicles to home states


BNSF Railway Co. is helping return American Red Cross emergency response vehicles (ERVs) to their home states after the vehicles were used during Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.

The Red Cross had deployed ERVs — which carry relief  items such as food, shovels, tarps and rakes — from all over the United States to the Northeast.

"Nearly every state sent ERVs to assist in recovery efforts, and every Class I railroad is helping the Red Cross move more than 200 ERVs back to their home states," said Mac Staniford, director of marketing-automotive in an item posted on the "BNSF News" web page. "BNSF is handling many of the movements in the western United States."

The Class Is are moving the ERVs free of charge. The vehicles are transported from the Northeast to appropriate rail hubs, then distributed for movements along required routes. BNSF expects use some of its automotive terminals in the West to secure handoffs of ERVs to local response teams.

"You can't imagine our relief when BNSF, along with other rail partners, offered to bring these fleet vehicles back to us by train. Not only does it alleviate the pressure from some very tired volunteers, it also saves us incredible expenses," said T.D. Smyers, regional chief executive officer of the American Red Cross' North Texas Region.

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