The Los Angeles fire department is deploying 20 Toyota models that will transport vaccines across the city.
In the early days of the pandemic, automakers were finding inventive ways to kill covid. Honda, for example, developed new cabin air filter technology that can kill the virus, and Ford released a software update that increased the cabin temperature in Police Interceptor Utility vehicles to over 133 degrees Fahrenheit. With vaccinations being rolled out, Toyota is collaborating with the Los Angeles Fire Department to help transport vaccines to disadvantaged communities and make them accessible to residents in Los Angeles who are immobile or have limited access to transport.
"Toyota is committed to increasing mobility and accessibility for everyone, not only through the vehicles we manufacture but through the partners we support in our communities," said Shawn Domeracki, general manager of the Toyota Los Angeles Region.
"The fire department's ongoing effort to mobilize vaccine clinics throughout the community is critical in the fight against Covid-19, and Toyota is proud to know we can help by offering reliable and fuel-efficient transportation to frontline workers."
Toyota is providing the LAFD with 20 new 2021 hybrid vehicles equipped to transport vaccines, including 15 Sienna minivans, two Venzas, one RAV4 Hybrid and one Highlander Hybrid. These vehicles will transport vaccines to mobile Covid-19 vaccine clinics, recreational centers and home visits across LA to get as many residents vaccinated as possible.
One of the Siennas will also become a permanent member of the LAFD fleet. As well as transporting vaccines, it will be used to transport personnel, equipment, and resources during the upcoming wildfire season.
To make loading and unloading vaccines easier, the Sienna has 60/40 split-folding rear seats and a power rear lift gate. Since it's a hybrid, it will also require fewer trips to the gas station. "Toyota is a valued partner of the LAFD and their vehicles have been instrumental in our work to serve residents in communities across Los Angeles, especially throughout this global health crisis," said Los Angeles City Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas. "These vehicles will significantly help us reach more residents in under-served neighborhoods so that we can continue to vaccinate those who are most vulnerable."