Heavy Equipment Response Coalition, a nonprofit providing resources for disaster mitigation, response, and recovery, assisted nonprofit Life Remodeled in its annual project to beautify Detroit.
Heavy Equipment Response Coalition, a nonprofit providing resources for disaster mitigation, response, and recovery, assisted nonprofit Life Remodeled in its annual project to beautify Detroit. Aided by heavy equipment, 11,000 volunteers cleaned up 300 blocks around Detroit's Central High School and Durfee buildings over six days.
Joining in the planning three weeks before the event, Coalition management met with event organizers to explore needs and lend support to the event's heavy equipment coordinator. As a new partner, the Coalition focused on supporting the coordinator and the event however needed, while gathering intelligence to use in planning for next year's event being held in the same neighborhoods.
The Coalition quickly launched project: Detroit Remodeled as a recovery response. Calls were made and issued through social media to source additional skilled volunteers, adding to the 11 equipment operators being supplied by the local Marathon Refinery.
In preparation for event kick-off, coalition volunteers trimmed trees and cleaned up around the Durfee building, which served as the volunteer reception center, operations center and staging area for the event. During the event, Coalition volunteers supported debris removal operations, assisted board-up teams from Fiat Chrysler and ran errands. All told, Coalition volunteers put in 212 hours on the project. Marathon's operators worked along side hand crews, putting in more than 480 hours moving debris and loading dumpsters throughout the work area.
Caterpillar, Case, John Deere and Bobcat equipment was donated by multiple companies and rental agencies, including Michigan CAT and MacAllister Rentals supplying six skid steers, four loaders and a telehandler; Marathon and United Rentals provided four skid steers; Herc Rentals donated a skid steer and grapples; and the city of Rochester Hills provided a backhoe and ag-tractor for a day. Coalition volunteer owner-operators supplied two additional skid steers, and skilled chain-sawers were used to handle technical saw work.
The 2018 project is anticipated to focus on alley clearing, which will require many pieces of specialized equipment like tree shears, bucket trucks and off-road lifts, large wood chippers, dump trucks, etc. Heavy Equipment Response Coalition is continually looking for industry sponsors and partners for operating capital, equipment and services to enhance its mission. A database of vetted heavy equipment owner-operator and operator volunteers to provide immediate response capability and join in larger project responses also is being developed.
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