Sheriff's department gets new vehicle for water rescues

The amphibious vehicle was given to the department for free.

Posted: Jul 17, 2019 6:04 PM

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Ill. (WTHI) - It was a normal Wednesday morning at the Crawford County sheriff's department. While everything out front seems business as usual, a new vehicle outback is making waves in the community.

Sheriff William Rutan says, "This is a little more than I was hoping for. But it will do the job and do it well. And it will go above and beyond."

The department has added an amphibious LAV 300 to its roster. During water rescues in the county, the vehicle will be able to go directly those in need without hesitation.

Rutan says, "Anytime the Wabash comes out of its banks we have water flooding. Either around the Wabash up in Hutsonville Palestine area. Heathsville. We'll also have it because we have the Embarras river that runs through our county also."

Rutan says they will have almost a half dozen water rescues a year. He says the main purpose of the vehicle is for those rescues. However, Rutan says its purpose can go beyond that.

Rutan says, "It is a light armored vehicle so if we do happen to have a barricaded or any kind of a shooting incident we have a vehicle that we can use to get close to the shooter."

The LAV 300 didn't cost the county a dime. Rutan emphasizes the vehicle is meant for rescue operations only.

Rutan says, "We have four to five water rescues every year where we have to drive out into flooded area to get people and this is just going to make it so much easier."

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