The Faulkner County Emergency Squad is hoping to improve the “rescue” part of search and rescue with a new amphibious vehicle.
The quorum court voted Tuesday to allow the county to apply for a grant for a Hydratreck Multi-Purpose Amphibious Vehicle.
Tim Tyler, commander of the emergency squad, said they had looked at these vehicles — which feature tracks on the front and a propellers in the back — before the Mayflower oil spill. Since then they have seen the vehicles in action with the cleanup efforts in Mayflower and are trying to find a way to bring one to Faulkner County permanently.
Tyler said the emergency squad is sometimes called out to Cadron Creek in the middle of the night. They have the equipment to spot the person in need of help, but getting out to them has been a struggle.
“We do fly a helicopter over and use night vision and we can spot pretty much most of the time anybody that’s in the Cadron, but you got to get to them,” he said. “We’ve tried airboats, we’ve tried hover craft, we’ve tried a lot of different things to go up the Cadron.”
The problems the squad has run into is rough water or low water, but those are problems the amphibious vehicle should be able to overcome.
Tyler said they have tested the vehicle up and down the Cadron and did not have problems.
The grant amount is $90,947.12 and would cover the total cost of the vehicle.
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