Those present during the transfer of free diesel fuel from Volkswagen to Erlanger were, from left to right, Everett Pierce, VP of Business Development from Marion Environmental, Inc.; Rick Griffith, Erlanger Health System Central Engineering Plant operator mechanic; Marc Thomas, Erlanger Health System engineering manager; Anthony Najm, Volkswagen Group of America Electrical planning specialist; and Thomas Gallant, VP Operations from Marion Environmental, Inc.
It was a win-win for both Volkswagen Chattanooga and the region’s trauma center when officials with the local automotive plant donated 2300 gallons of diesel fuel to the Erlanger Health System. The donated fuel will be used as an emergency back-up source at Erlanger in the event of a major power outage.
For a recent maintenance check, Volkswagen engineers had to remove more than 2000 gallons of fuel, and due to company policy were not allowed to use it for cars anymore. The question was what to do with the fuel.
“We are very pleased that this diesel fuel was usable by Erlanger for their back-up generators,” said Guenther Scherelis, general manager for Communications at Volkswagen Chattanooga. “Erlanger’s service to the community is invaluable, and we are pleased that we can help our partners in this way.”
Erlanger and Volkswagen Chattanooga have partnered in the Erlanger at Volkswagen Drive near-site clinic, which serves the general public in the Bonny Oaks area as well as Volkswagen team members.
After Erlanger gratefully accepted the offer of free fuel, Anthony Najm, Electrical Planning specialist for Volkswagen Chattanooga, contacted officials with Marion Environmental, Inc., in Chattanooga who offered to transport the donated fuel from the local Volkswagen plant to the Erlanger Baroness Campus free of charge.
Representatives from all three organizations were present when 2,300 gallons of diesel fuel were transferred to Erlanger’s fuel supply plant.
“This will be used to help fuel our emergency generators, and enable Erlanger to maintain our life and safety support system,” said Erlanger engineering manager Marc Thomas, noting that the hospital maintains a supply of oil for disaster preparedness, but that the new supply “certainly represents a cost-savings and keeps us from having to purchase more in the near future.”
“The use of back-up generators is extremely important to a level one trauma center such as Erlanger,” said Charlesetta Woodard-Thompson, Erlanger president and CEO. “When a disaster strikes, we must be in a position to serve the community immediately and effectively – and certainly to have a back-up power source. We cannot thank Volkswagen enough for making this generous offer and donation.”