Ram Truck and the FCA Foundation today (May 29) announced the donation of $100,000 to the First Response Team of America, a disaster relief organization, which is providing recovery and relief support to residents in flood-stricken central-Texas communities.
“Ram Truck and the FCA Foundation are committed to helping our friends in these Texas communities get back on their feet and on the road to recovering from the devastating floods” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO – Ram Truck Brand, FCA US. “In Texas and across the nation Ram truck owners are the kinds of neighbors who are ready to lend a hand when you need it most.”
The First Response Team of America and its founder, Tad Agoglia, will be on-site with their fleet of Ram vehicles and community restoration equipment to assist residents. Efforts will focus on home site recovery and delivering food, water and cleaning materials.
The Ram brand established a partnership with the First Response Team of America in 2012 to help communities across America respond to natural disasters. Since then, Ram – through the FCA Foundation – has donated more than $300,000 to First Response. As a result, Ram and the First Response Team of America have led similar collaborative operations in Tupelo, Miss. and Moore, Okla.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of central Texas,” said Jody Trapasso, Senior Vice President – External Affairs, FCA – North America and President of the FCA Foundation. “We are heartened by their unwavering spirit during this difficult time and we are humbled to support relief efforts.”
First Response Team of America
First Response Team of America was founded by Agoglia, who had built a very successful disaster recovery business and, following 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, decided to put those skills to use by helping people. When he was doing disaster recovery work for a living, Tad observed that the first few hours and days following a disaster are the most critical in getting people and their community back on its feet.
In those first few hours, people are stunned and dazed by the enormity of the disaster that has just befallen their community. They look at the devastation all around them and just do not know where or how to start getting their lives back together.
Tad saw the need for a dedicated professional team, properly equipped and trained, to arrive in those first few hours and begin to aid local first responders to make things happen for the community and the victims. He took his own funds and formed First Response Team of America to fill that need. Today, First Response Team of America is supported by corporate gifts, donations in kind and donations from the public sector.
“People in these destroyed communities need to see help right away arriving right away”, according to Tad. “They need to see a capable and trained team with the right equipment arriving to do heavy lifting and making a difference in those first few hours without any expectation from victims in return.”
“When the First Response Team arrives and starts clearing key roads and removing rubble, assisting in search and rescue, pumping out buildings, setting up our emergency lights and our generators begin to power rescue equipment and shelters, the hope begins to return to a community” says Tad. “We see it in their eyes and in their faces as they begin to realize that the sun will come up tomorrow”.
The First Response Team of America is a small team by design enabling them to respond quickly and target the neediest areas to assist at a disaster site. It takes more than one and a half years to train a team member on all of the equipment and recovery techniques and protocols, according to Agoglia.
The convoy of First Response Team vehicles includes Ram Heavy Duty Trucks and a tractor and trailer loaded with necessary tools such as infrared rubble cameras, plasma cutters, metal/concrete/wood saws and other specialized tools. Another tractor and flatbed carry a 470 KW generator, 500 gallons of diesel fuel, three Caterpillar compact track loaders, 8 acre lighting towers and 2000 GPM water pumps.
A box truck carries spare parts and other supplies. On a trailer behind the box truck are two hovercrafts for water rescue if needed. Rounding out the convoy are a three axle heavy duty dump truck and a 120 cubic yard haul truck with self-loading prentice loader.
Ram Truck Brand also brings together Ram truck owners looking to make a difference. “Ram Nation” is a grassroots organization of like-minded people willing and ready to help people in need, such as those in flood-damaged Texas. Ram Nation volunteers haul supplies, deliver equipment, clear debris, distribute food and water, and even make donations that help people in their communities and around the world. New members can join Ram Nation by going to their website.
Source: Ram Truck Brand