‘It would help our entire community’: Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team finalist to win Land Rover
WOLFE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - The Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team is hoping to win new equipment that can help them keep people safe.
“What this vehicle would mean for us is that mobility to be able to get help where it’s needed, kind of in those off the beaten path locations and so we really need to be able to get their reliably because lives depend on it,” said Drew Stevens, the public information officer with Wolfe County Search and Rescue. “A Land Rover Defender would be able to do that for us and be able to deliver help to those who need it.”
The rescue team is one of five finalists of the Land Defender Above and Beyond Service Awards in the Search and Rescue category.
Stevens said he found out about the competition from a friend who attended a Land Rover rally in Ashville, N.C. When she learned about the contest, she immediately called Stevens. Within 30 minutes, Mike Wilkinson agreed to shoot the submission video.
“I’d be lying if I told you I hadn’t been obsessively checking my email since we had submitted our video, but when that email finally rolled through we were ecstatic to be included amongst the five finalists in this awesome competition. It’s an honor to even be a finalist,” said Stevens.
As of now, they are relying on a 20-year-old Jeep to get to people in time to save their lives.
“There’s a hole rusted through the hood, there’s a window that’s duct taped shut right now. I know that several of the locks on it are stuck locked so there’s a lot of things that are just minor in a certain sense going wrong with it but there’s compounding issues that are making the vehicle less and less reliable as a service vehicle,” said Stevens.
The winner gets a brand new custom Land Rover Defender worth more than $70,000. The winner will then get an extra $20,000 to customize it to their needs.
“This new vehicle will allow us better access deeper in the back country to the woods to the trails that have back roads and also to homes that might be somewhat flooded or on muddy roads after floods,” said Michael Hackett, the deputy chief.
Hackett says it takes about four to five hours to complete a rescue. Most of the time, they have to leave the vehicle and hike in. This vehicle would let them get closer, before going on foot.
“It depends on the area but could cut that time to three hours or less,” said Hackett. “It’s not just about ease of access to the back country it will help our entire community and our visitors we feel the most.”
They are asking for the community’s help by voting for their team. You can vote once per day through May 3.
”Whoever has the most votes wins so we’re counting on our folks here in Kentucky to have our backs. We’re the only team east of the Mississippi in this competition and so we need that home crowd and we need that vote,” said Stevens.
To vote for the Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team, click here.
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