SLIDELL, LA. - Today Brigadier General Hunt Downer, Assistant Adjutant to the State of Louisiana, announced that General Motors has extended for a year the loan of 12 HUMMER H3 vehicles, which have been used by various state agencies for hurricane recovery since last fall. The announcement was made during a press conference at the Slidell Police Department.
In September of 2005, after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, General Motors and HUMMER provided 12 HUMMER H3 midsize sport utility vehicles to the State of Louisiana for use in transporting relief workers, food, water, and medical supplies. Built locally at the GM Shreveport Assembly Plant, the H3s were equipped with the full range of OnStar assistance services. GM engineers also trained state workers and volunteers to safely and properly operate the H3s in both on- and off-road situations.
"Many communities lost their own heavy duty vehicles in the hurricanes but first responders still needed to ge! t through high water and debris," said General Downer. "When the state requested their aid, Hummer and GM stepped up to loan a dozen trucks that were invaluable in saving lives. We will continue to use them to aid the recovery and expedite emergency response while our communities rebuild."
In the past nine months, the H3's have worked like tireless volunteers in several communities that were devastated by the hurricanes. The vehicles were used by police, fire and National Guard members to deliver desperately needed supplies, in search-and-rescue missions to gain access to stranded victims, and to search areas that could not have been reached in a vehicle without the H3's extreme off-road capabilities.
While the H3's were most often employed to transport food, water and medical supplies and rescue hurricane victims, they were also put to work by the New Orleans EMS to provide emergency medical services to citizens and visitors who came to the city for Mardi Gras in February.
Some other examples of how the HUMMER H3's have served Louisiana in the past nine months include:
- Cameron Parish - Sheriff Theo Duhon has used his H3 for recovery of items from marshes, driving generals and ex-presidents through devastation
- Department of Veterans Affairs - one of 4 units controlled by National Guard
- Slidell Police Department -- two H3s are the department's high-water response units
- Greenwood Fire Department -- unit has been used to deliver medical supplies to hard-to-reach areas, used in Mardi Gras patrol in New Orleans
- Pearl River Fire Department - one vehicle being used for emergency response
- Vermilion Parish - Sheriff's Department vehicle used for emergency response
"On behalf of General Motors and HUMMER, and the three-thousand plus employees of the Shreveport assembly plant, including the proud members of UAW 2166, I'm here to say that we have been proud and gratified to do our part to support the communities devastated last fall with the loan of these 12 able-bodied, off-road capable trucks," said David Gibbons, plant manager of GM's Shreveport Assembly Plant.
Reggie Bush, recently drafted running back for the New Orleans Saints, spoke at the press conference as a new member of the New Orleans community and through his affiliation with HUMMER. "I'm honored to have the opportunity to lend my personal support to helping New Orleans and its neighboring communities get back on track," Bush said. He announced that he would donate a number of autographed footballs to the Slidell Police Department that will be auctioned to raise money for the following charities:
Community Christian Concern -- assistance, food & clothing, etc., to the community's needy.
Children's Advocacy Center - coordinated multidisciplinary services to child abuse victims and their families.
Crisis Pregnancy Help Center -pregnancy assistance & counseling to teenagers and young women
Youth Truth --education, counseling and activities for at risk and troubled youth
Capt. Rob Callahan
Slidell Police Department
The Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation
Louisiana's Fund for Louisiana's People
www.louisianahelp.org 1-877-HELPLA1 (877-435-7521)