One man, His Tundra, and a Community of Brave Fighters
Camp Fire’s Heroes
As manager of Oak Lawn Toyota’s Instagram account, I follow numerous Toyota truck fan accounts. These fan accounts are not for the casual Toyota truck driver, they’re for hardcore enthusiasts who devote their spare time to working on their beloved Toyota truck.
On Saturday, while scrolling through Oak Lawn Toyota’s Instagram feed, I came across a photo of a badly burnt truck. While that should have gotten my immediate attention, I continued scrolling until I noticed it again, and again, and again–a picture “re-grammed” multiple times over.
I decided to share the image of the burnt truck on Facebook along with the brief caption attached to it. It was a sobering image of the real damage done by the Camp Fire (in Butte County Northern California) and a brief look at the human toll a natural disaster can take on our fellow Americans.
Since posting that photo on Saturday, multiple outlets picked up this story and I think it’s important you get to know the person who drives that burnt Tundra. The owner of the truck is Allyn Pierce, an ICU nurse at Adventist Health in Paradise, CA. Last Thursday, while flames were engulfing Paradise and surrounding areas, Nurse Allyn hopped into his Toyota Tundra with hospital patients and evacuated them to safety. Not only did he do this once, but he turned around and did it again. Nurse Pierce’s selflessness saved lives and for that, he’s a hero. Toyota has recognized his bravery and will be giving him a new truck to replace his burnt Tundra.
I’m attaching New York Times reporter Jack Nicas’ tweets below for the entire account of the Paradise Hospital heroes and for the astonishing photos that tell their story.
Here’s the crazy story of just one of the many heroes in Paradise, the town destroyed by California’s deadliest fire ever. His name is Allyn Pierce, and he’s the badass nurse who drove this truck through the flames. pic.twitter.com/xAL7zRf34H
Allyn manages the ICU at Paradise’s hospital, Adventist Health, and helped spark the quick evacuation of patients Thursday morning as the #CampFire swept in. Then he hopped in his truck with two colleagues and headed for safety.
Like many residents in Paradise, they quickly hit gridlock. But unfortunately for them, they were stuck in the middle of the fire. Flames licked at the side of his truck, and as Allyn watched other cars catch fire, he thought his was next. Here was his view. pic.twitter.com/2fACEWn4tu
Allyn held his coat against the window – a futile guard from the intense heat – and put on Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” to calm himself. He recorded a goodbye message to his family: “Just in case this doesn’t work out, I want you to know I really tried to make it out.”
Suddenly a bulldozer appeared & knocked a burning truck next to him out of the way. There was some room to maneuver. But instead of going forward toward safety, he turned around & drove back into the heart of Paradise. Here’s the aftermath of his Tacoma. (The lights still work.) pic.twitter.com/LLUU1fDfYv
Allyn ended up back at the hospital and quickly realized injured Paradise residents were also there, looking for medical help. “Now all of us are like, ‘Oh, this is what we do,’” he recalled. “We’re terrible at burning to death, but we’re amazing at taking care of people.”
Doctors, nurses, paramedics & police started a triage center in the hospital parking lot. They broke into the hospital for gurneys, oxygen tanks & other gear & quickly went to work, treating about two dozen people while the fire raged around them. Photo: Noah Berger/AP. pic.twitter.com/SOOZidkfOF
Then the hospital caught fire. The team quickly relocated the patients 100 yards away to the hospital’s helipad. Eventually authorities cleared a path to safety, so they loaded up the victims & drove out in a caravan. Everyone made it out safely.
Allyn stressed the triage was a massive group effort — and that they weren’t heroes. “This is what we do,” he said. “Any nurse, any healthcare worker, any cop, they were there and they all did their jobs.”
Every day might as well be ‘Earth Day’ as Toyota takes on climate change year-round by focusing on the goals of the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050.
Toyota’s status as a leading “green” company came about twenty years ago when they introduced the world to the Prius. Since that fateful day, Toyota has been a trailblazing corporation–doing their significant part to combat climate change while creating efficient technologies for consumers to use inside and outside the automotive industry. Newsweek recently named Toyota one of the world’s greenest companies–ranking No. 1 in the automobile category.
Toyota is pioneering the path towards zero emissions transportation. The 2017 North American Environmental Report showcases how Toyota’s environmental strategy and performance across four key areas — carbon, water, materials, and biodiversity — is engrained in everything we do.
Toyota is the largest producer of electrified vehicles worldwide with nearly 11.5 million hybrids sold, including more than 3.2 million in North America. By 2030, Toyota aims to have global sales of more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles, including more than 1 million zero-emission vehicles. By 2025, every model in the Toyota and Lexus lineup around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option.
Toyota is committing millions of dollars to three hydrogen fuel providers to help fund infrastructure that supports a growing community of fuel cell vehicle drivers.
Upgrading to LED lighting at eight North American manufacturing plants is expected to save an estimated 20,000 megawatts per year and avoid approximately 17,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.
Projects at four of Toyota’s North American manufacturing plants resulted in water savings last fiscal year more than 43.2 million gallons, equivalent to the annual water use of 394 average American families.
In 2016, only 1 percent of waste from our North American facilities was disposed of in landfills. The rest was recycled, reused, composted or sent to a waste-to-energy facility.
Toyota Plano Headquarters
With 58 and counting, Toyota and Lexus continue to lead the industry with more dealership facilities certified to LEED® standards in North America than any other auto manufacturer. And our North American headquarters in Plano, Texas, achieved LEED Platinum last fall from the U.S. Green Building Council.
At 13 Toyota sites across North America, team members have planted pollinator gardens to nurture monarch butterflies as well as other pollinator species. Three of our sites have planted monarch waystations that are certified by Monarch Watch.
Toyota’s new research and development campus in York, Michigan, recycled 92 percent of the waste generated during construction. That's 461 tons of material put to productive use instead of being disposed of in a landfill.
We worked with one of our packaging suppliers, PakFab, to find a way to reuse and recycle obsolete packaging from vehicle model changes. With eight plants adopting this solution, we expect to eliminate 13 million pounds of waste annually.
Port of Long Beach
Plans are underway to build the world’s first megawatt-scale carbonate fuel cell power generation plant with a hydrogen fueling station to support Toyota operations at the Port of Long Beach. The Tri-Gen facility will use bio-waste sourced from California agricultural waste to generate water, electricity and hydrogen. When complete, the station will fuel all Mirai vehicles passing through the port, as well as Toyota’s proof of concept Class 8 HCV Truck.
Toyota announces a new partnership with Amazon’s Alexa service.
January 12, 2018
Toyota announces a new partnership with Amazon, introducing Amazon’s Alexa in Toyota vehicles later this year.
As consumers outfit their homes with “smart” devices at an increasing rate, tech companies ask “where else?” can they implement such technology. The answer? The car.
In a statement made from CES this week, Toyota announced a partnership with Alexa, Amazon’s intelligent cloud-based voice service. Toyota’s with Entune 3.0 App will be the first to host Alexa later this year, followed by additional models in 2019. Toyota’s move is a clear sign that they’re shedding their bland image and gearing up for an innovative and exciting future.
What is Amazon’s Alexa service?
Per Amazon: Using Alexa is as simple as asking a question. Just ask to play music, read the news, control your smart home, tell and joke and much more! Alexa is designed to make your life easier by letting you voice-control your world. Alexa lives in the cloud so it’s always getting smarter, and updates are delivered automatically. The more you talk to Alexa, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences.
What Does Alexa’s Addition to Toyota’s Mean for Me?
If you have an Amazon smart device at home that uses Alexa, you’ll be able to utilize those functions you love most from the comfort of your Toyota. Simply say, “Alexa, order me more toilet paper” or “Alexa, read me the news” and Alexa will seamlessly carry out those functions while you sit in rush hour traffic. If you don’t have a device that uses Alexa and you don’t plan on getting one–no worries–this news doesn’t affect you. You probably won’t even notice the button on the vehicle’s startup menu.
Once Toyota releases additional information about Alexa, including specific release dates, I’ll be here to fill you in!
Toyota unveils the e-Palette concept car at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV.
January 9, 2018
Toyota unveils the e-Palette to an excited crowd at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show.
The future of ridesharing is uncertain as the once untouchable king of the game, Uber, continues its public mea culpa tour. As Uber addresses its many woes, automakers look to fill the void. Enter Toyota’s e-Palette concept vehicle.
Toyota took to the main stage at 2018’s Consumer Electronics Show, CES, and unveiled a modern concept that “harnesses the benefits of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, connected network, and electric vehicle technologies to get people where they want to go safely, conveniently and in an environmentally friendly way,” said Toyota’s senior vice president and chief information officer Zack Hicks. While the e-Palette remains in the “concept car” stage of planning, this is a clear indication of the future Toyota wishes to build for the consumer.
In 2016, Toyota decided to bid adieu to the Scion brand, allowing for select vehicles to take the Toyota badge in 2017. The Scion iA, iM and FR-S have officially joined the Toyota family as the 2017 Yaris iA, Corolla iM and Toyota 86.
Toyota is working overtime to create a flying car by 2020. Toyota is investing resources in the startup, Cartivator, by “chipping in 40 million yen ($353,000) and offering the expertise of its mechanical engineers.”
According to Engadget:
Thedrone-like vehicle would soar 10 meters (33 feet) above the ground at speeds up to 100 km/h (62 mph). The “Skydrive” is being developed by Cartivator, a startup with around 30 young volunteers working with drone expert Masafumi Miwa from Tokushima University. The aim is to get the car flying by next year and have it commercialized in time to light the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games torch.
“Our vision for the future is that driving is still fun,” says Ian Cartabiano, studio chief designer at Toyota’s Calty design facility in Southern California.
The 2017 CES Convention is underway in Las Vegas. Tech nerds from around the world have gathered to explore new trends in applied science industry. Toyota showed up and blew everyone away with its reveal of an autonomous vehicle.