A new tool is enabling the American Red Cross Mohawk Valley Chapter to reach and help more people in more emergencies than ever before.

A new tool is enabling the American Red Cross Mohawk Valley Chapter to reach and help more people in more emergencies than ever before.

While before representatives would be the scene of a disaster offering services but without many of their resources, the chapter now owns a Disaster Action Response Trailer, which is a multi-purpose trailer which allows the chapter become more mobile.

The 22 foot long, eight foot wide and nine foot tall DART is capable of providing shelter for up to 100 people in its back portion while also being used as a mass feeding site, complete with service window, in the front according to Kelly Brown, the chapter's interim executive director.

“This will enable us to do a number of things like doing casework where there is no office,” said Brown. “This is a perfect tool in a rural area.”

As an example, Brown said the DART could be used at a large fire to help firefighters and first responders, to provide safety during a flood, or to set up shelters.

“It could be used to set up to aid for rescuers and searchers, it has many many uses,” said Brown.

   

The trailer was purchased through a Homeland Security grant in conjunction with Dr. Gregory O'Keefe and Herkimer County Public Health. In all, the parties have been working on the grant for the past couple of months.

The trailer was picked up on Dec. 28 after it was made locally, by Rolling Star Manufacturing in Barneveld.

Brown said the very few Red Cross chapters have a tool such as thing.

   

“Obviously we are happy to grow as a chapter and have resources available that others don't,” said Brown.

The DART will also be used at public events and was used for the first time on Monday at the Ilion ball-drop.

“As always when getting equipment, you expect to use it minimally,” said Brown. “We will be using it for many public events and continuously with chapters and neighbors in need.”