Group loaning RVs amid virus outbreak

By The Associated Press

GEORGETOWN — Indiana residents are lending a hand in a national initiative that aims to pair medical workers with recreational vehicle owners willing to loan their RVs to nurses, doctors and first responders wanting to protect their families from the coronavirus.

Shelly and Milton Trent reside in the southern Indiana community of Georgetown, just outside Louisville, Kentucky. The couple is loaning their 31-foot (9-meter) travel trailer that's parked outside their home to Dr. Nick Passafiume, an emergency room doctor in adjacent Harrison County, the News and Tribune reported.

“Here we all sit at home, and we can’t go anywhere, really, and it’s emotionally hard to see that healthcare workers don’t have an option to stay at home and be safe,” Shelly said. “They are in the trenches. We were thinking, why not? Why shouldn’t we help him?”

The residents connected through a Facebook group called “RVs 4 MDs To Fight the Corona Virus." It was created last month and has grown to include more than 27,000 members across the country.

Shelly said she immediately started receiving requests from local residents after filling out the group’s form and posting on Facebook.

Though they didn’t know each other before, Passafiume has lived in the travel trailer in the Trent’s backyard for the past week. He wanted to protect his wife and two young children while he works in a hospital, and he needed a space with sufficient room for the trailer.

Jeffersonville resident Carol Dawson is among the local residents preparing to loan a vehicle. Upon learning about the initiative, she discussed the idea with her husband, Ken Crutchfield. They decided to post about their RV in the Facebook group this week, getting a match on Tuesday.

They're loaning the vehicle to an Indianapolis-based paramedic who is currently working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in New York. After returning to Indianapolis later this month, he'll need a place to quarantine away from his roommate, who has a baby.

“Just the fact that we could do something very simple that could ease burden of those in the healthcare profession is an easy and wonderful thing to do,” Dawson said.

More on