Volkswagen leaders donated 2,300 gallons of diesel fuel-which will be used to power backup generators in the event of a power outage-to Erlanger Health System.
“This will be used to help fuel our emergency generators and enable Erlanger to maintain our life and safety support system,” Erlanger engineering manager Marc Thomas said in a prepared statement.
The hospital maintains a supply of oil for natural disaster preparedness, but the new supply will save money and keep leaders from having to purchase more in the near future, he also said.
Volkswagen has a fuel farm and crews needed to remove the diesel from a tank in order to clean the tank. And VW has a policy that when the fuel is taken out, it can’t go back in, spokesman Scott Wilson said.
“We didn’t want to waste it because it’s perfectly good for running something like a generator,” he said. “The diesel [for use in VW cars] is super clean. We couldn’t risk it being contaminated for use in the automobiles.”
Marion Environmental Inc. in Chattanooga transported the donated fuel from the Volkswagen plant to the Erlanger Baroness Campus for free.
Leaders from all three organizations-VW, Erlanger and Marion Environmental-saw the fuel transferred to Erlanger’s fuel supply plant.
“The use of backup generators is extremely important to a Level One trauma center such as Erlanger,” Charlesetta Woodard-Thompson, Erlanger president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “When a disaster strikes, we must be in a position to serve the community immediately and effectively-and certainly to have a backup power source. We cannot thank Volkswagen enough for making this generous offer and donation.”
Erlanger and Volkswagen Chattanooga have a partnership in the Erlanger and Volkswagen Drive clinic, which is open to the general public in the Bonny Oaks area, as well as Volkswagen employees.
Guenther Scherelis, general manager for communications at Volkswagen Chattanooga, said company leaders are pleased to be able to help Erlanger.
“Erlanger’s service to the community is invaluable, and we are pleased that we can help our partners in this way,” he said in a prepared statement.