accessibility & help

British Red Cross using international emergency response vehicle to deliver medical equipment in UK

Monday 11 January 2010 
For further information please contact

Penny Sims

on telephone: +44(0)207 877 7044, email:, out of hours 07659 145 095

or Andrew Smart

on mobile: +44(0)7515 132 483, email:

The British Red Cross will be using their 7.5 tonne Unimog vehicle from Monday 11th January to deliver much-needed medical equipment in the Bristol area.

Due to increased demand for wheelchairs caused by winter weather injuries and icy conditions in the Bristol area, the Red Cross are deploying the 7.5 tonne mercedes 4x4 truck, which is usually stored in their Bristol warehouse for use overseas to deliver international aid.

John Cunningham, warehouse manager for the British Red Cross in Bristol:

“This vehicle is often associated with international emergencies such as flooding or natural disasters. During the Asian Tsunami in 2004, the Red Cross actually used the same model of vehicle in Indonesia as part of its emergency response.
With the current severe weather crisis here in the UK it will be invaluable as its able to work in incredibly inaccessible conditions. As well as being a versatile 4x4 and getting to places others can't, it can also carry about 2 and a half tons of cargo which in this case will be much needed wheelchairs to people who can't leave their homes.”

The Unimog is usually associated with jungle or mountainous terrain, and in Europe they are used as snow ploughs. The last time the British Red Cross Unimog was used in UK was in Gloucester during the floods of 2007. The high-sided truck is ideal for transporting supplies through flood waters.

Colleen Cleevely, British Red Cross Operations Director for Avon said:
“Although this vehicle is usually associated with international aid, we will be using it this week to tackle a backlog of around 60 wheelchair deliveries. We’ve seen an increase in demand for wheelchairs due to weather related injuries, such as slips or falls. The capacity of this vehicle means we can safely handle a large delivery in these wintery conditions”.


Notes to editors

For interviews, pictures or more information, please call Andrew Smart on 07515 132 483
The schedule for distribution is:
Monday - Gloucestershire, Cheltenham North Wiltshire
Tuesday - Devises, Wiltshire, Salisbury
Weds - Bath and Avon and West Wilts
Thurs - North Somerset and south Avon
Fri - Weston super mare and North Somerset.

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.