The American Red Cross will soon be adding a special wheels to its fleet of vehicles.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeastern Pa. will present an $8,500 grant to the Red Cross of Berks and Schuylkill counties.
The money will be used to buy "Ernie the ERV," an animated robot modeled after the Red Cross' emergency response vehicles.
Ernie moves, speaks, listens, plays audio cassette tapes and activates his lights all by remote control, officials said.
“Ernie will be used in school classrooms, assemblies, and at McDonald's locations throughout northeastern and central Pennsylvania to promote public safety awareness, disaster preparedness and community involvement," said Roland Kissinger, the owner operator of six McDonald's restaurants in Schuylkill, Northumberland, and Columbia counties.
McDonald's said it expects Ernie will be fully programmed and ready for the Red Cross to begin using early next month.