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BNSF coordinates return of Red Cross emergency vehicles from Superstorm Sandy response


BNSF is playing a significant role in returning Red Cross emergency response vehicles (ERVs) to their home states after the vehicles were used to assist in the Northeast following November’s Superstorm Sandy. ERVs carry relief items such as food, shovels, tarps, rakes and more.

Late-season Hurricane Sandy – also called Superstorm Sandy -- swept through the Caribbean and up the East Coast, leaving dozens dead, thousands homeless and millions without power. To assist with the recovery efforts, the Red Cross deployed ERVs from all over of the United States.

Mac Staniford, director, Marketing Automotive, is coordinating BNSF's participation in returning ERVs to their home states. He also has served as a liaison to ensure ERVs were placed on the most appropriate railroad for return to their home states.

"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," Staniford said. "BNSF is handling many of the movements in the Western United States."

John Ambler, vice president, Corporate Relations, said BNSF has been a proud support of the American Red Cross for more than 20 years through financial contributions and volunteerism.

"We are honored to use our trains to bring these trucks back to their home towns for an organization that selflessly does so much for America every day," Ambler said.

T.D. Smyers, regional chief executive officer, American Red Cross, North Texas Region, expressed appreciation on the relief organization’s behalf.

"When the call came after the storm, we started pushing out volunteers by planes and by sending our Emergency Response Vehicles," Smyers said. "Volunteers jumped in and made that very long drive to New Jersey or New York. 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. We are so thankful."

Movement of the cars is being provided free of charge. The Red Cross has staged the ERVs as they are taken out of service in the Northeast. The ERVs are then moved to appropriate rail hubs and distributed from there along the appropriate routes. BNSF will use some of the 24 automotive terminal networks in the West to secure handoff of the ERVs to local response teams.

"This has taken significant coordination, but everyone has worked together to provide this important service to the Red Cross," Staniford said.

BNSF Headquarters

BNSF Railway Company
2650 Lou Menk Dr. 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 961057
Fort Worth, TX 76161-0057
Phone: (817) 352-1000

For more information on the company and its transportation solutions, visit the BNSF Web site at www.bnsf.com

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