MitFuso donates trucks to Red Cross for disaster relief

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Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America; its Japanese parent company, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Co.; and the truck maker’s Alabama dealer teamed up to present the Wiregrass Area Chapter of the American Red Cross with three Mitsubishi Fuso trucks.

The Dothan, Ala.-based Red Cross chapter has been helping victims in the Katrina disaster zone. Recognizing that one of the chief problems for any relief organization is the ability to get relief supplies from donation and staging areas to the disaster zone, staff at Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America — headquartered in Logan Township, N.J. — initiated an effort to help. Enlisting the aid of its parent company and area truck dealer Coffman Enterprises, MFTA made arrangements to donate three off-lease medium-duty commercial trucks.

“In recent years — since Ivan, really — we’ve learned that we’re in a strategic location to serve as a pre-disaster staging area when hurricanes threaten the Gulf Coast, as well as a prime evacuation center,” says Susan B. Holmes, executive director of the Red Cross’s Wiregrass Area Chapter. “We have shelters across our four-county region, and getting supplies from our headquarters to the shelters has been a challenge. These trucks are an answer to prayer.”

Logistically, the three Class 3 FE model trucks — each with a body payload allowance of about 6,000 pounds — will be titled and maintained by the Wiregrass Area Chapter. Whenever a disaster threatens the region, two of the trucks will be assigned immediately to the disaster zone, while the third will remain with the Wiregrass Area Chapter to ferry relief supplies and materials to its shelters.