To do what it can to help hospitals and other essential medical services to cope with the challenges and influx of patients related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jaguar Land Rover is putting company vehicles including the new Land Rover Defender to work to deliver protective equipment to hospitals in Toronto and is putting a fleet of Defenders originally set to be driven by journalists around the globe to work for the Red Cross at home in the UK.
“The extraordinary health emergency we are going through requires everyone’s commitment,” said Wolfgang R. Hoffmann, President of Jaguar Land Rover Canada. “We want to do anything we can to help the community.” So the company is making both vehicles and drivers available as part of a new program to collect PPE from those who have it but don’t need it now to those who need it urgently right away.
Personal protective equipment that’s needed by hospitals to protect staff and patients from COVID-19 includes masks, gloves, face shields, and other critical items. JLR notes that there are many businesses who also use those items but have more stock than they need because of closures, overstock, and slower business. Through www.theppedrive.com, unused equipment can be donated and Land Rover will send a team to get it. Tattoo parlours, nail salons, dental, veterinary, and cosmetic clinics, as well as private labs, could all have this PPE on hand. “This is out there in society,” said Warner. “We need to gather it and distribute it to the places that need it.”
Further abroad, Land Rover revealed on Twitter that it was planning to lend a fleet of Defender SUVs to partners like the Red Cross. These are vehicles that were bound for the company’s press fleet, sent off to dramatic locations for dramatic driving and photos of mud splashed around. Instead, now, they’ll be put to use helping out in a tough spot. Something Land Rovers have been doing for decades.
On their Twitter account, the company said that it would be providing 143 vehicles globally to “support the true heroes” of the pandemic. 105 of those are to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and of those 57 Defenders were sent to the British Red Cross and other Land Rover vehicles are being used by services there to provide in-home COVID-19 testing. In addition to the vehicles supplied to collect PPE in Canada, JLR has delivered 18 Jaguar and Land Rover SUVs to the Spanish Red Cross to “reach people in especially vulnerable areas.”
Jaguar Land Rover Canada said that while their initial PPE project is in Toronto only, using a Discovery and a Defender 110, “we hope to roll it out in other markets.”