Dealership Donates RV ‘Fleet’ to Hospital

A photo of Kirby Auto Group and Ventura County Medical Center executives

A fleet of new RVs headed to the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic this week, bringing some crucial relief to two California hospitals.

Kirby Auto Group donated a dozen of its RVs to be used for housing and facilities at Ventura County Medical Center and Santa Paula Hospital in California. The RVs will provide much-needed space for the increased staff at the hospitals due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Doctors, nurses and other staff will use the RVs for secure housing while they may not want to stay at home and risk infecting their families. Currently, the vehicles are parked in the hospitals’ parking lots. Five of the RVs went to Santa Paula, and seven went to VCMC.

Amy Towner, CEO of Health Care Foundation for Ventura County, said the need for temporary housing on site recently became clear.

A photo of Kirby Auto Group RVs donated to Ventura County hospitals
Kirby Auto Group donated these RVs to Ventura County hospitals.

“When this obvious need arose, I immediately thought to call Jeff Sukay at Kirby Auto Group without hesitation,” Towner said. “Jeff has been a pillar and presence in our community for decades, and he rose to the occasion straight away by providing solutions of RV’s to our frontline healthcare workers in the face of the pandemic and on behalf of our community’s health and safety.”

The company quickly decided to donate the RVs when Towner reached out, Kirby Auto Group President Jeff Sukay said.

“Immediately, we are all in to help our health community in time of a crisis,” Sukay said.

Kirby’s Barber RV, which is owned by the Kirby Auto Group, donated the mixed fleet of RVs to the hospitals. The company has been located in the Ventura Auto Center for more than 50 years.

Kirby’s Barber RV General Manager Mike Arrambide organized a mix of travel trailers and Type C’s from the company’s inventory to meet the needs of staff at the hospitals.

“Kirby’s Barber RV has been supporting the RV community for over 50 years,” Arrambide said. “The moment we heard of the need at VCMC we jumped at the opportunity to help out our frontline Medical people.”

Arrambide and Kirby Fixed Ops Director Louis Vierstra met with Ventura County Medical Center administrators to figure out logistics for bringing the fleet to the hospital. Towner connected them with VCMC Facilities Director Ian McGraw, who organized the utilities needed to provide power and water to the RVs.

“RVs have proven time and time again in becoming the most adaptable vehicles on the road,” Vierstra said, “whether it be for family vacations or providing viable mobile solutions in times of a crises and national emergencies.”

This is not the only instance of RVs being utilized to combat the coronavirus pandemic, RVDA President Phil Ingrassia said.

“RVs are also currently being used as COVID-19 mobile test centers and temporary quarantine quarters,” Ingrassia said, “because they provide a safe, controlled environment.”

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