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Pulaski County receives military high clearance vehicle for emergency disaster response

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 5:47 PM EST
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PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - It’s not a fire truck—it’s something that’s a little different. It is considered a military high clearance vehicle and is now Pulaski County’s newest tool in its emergency response fleet.

“Whether they be floods or wildfires or snow events,” said county administrator Jonathan Sweet.

Emergency responders said the vehicle can respond to many natural disasters, including fires. It can hold up to 500 gallons of water.

Emergency Services Coordinator Brian Wright said it’s already been helpful. So far, they’ve saved close to 20 people from flash floods.

“Because of its clearance and height, we will be able to go into to the water and remove people from or evacuate people from their homes,” said Emergency Services Coordinator Brian Wright.

The county was able to get the vehicle by way of U.S. military surplus.

“We had a variety of our local industry actually take part hands on in in restoring this for civilian used to qualify it through the US military surplus program,” said Sweet.

Wright said it was local businesses that transformed the truck into the multipurpose response vehicle it became.

“And took the camouflage and made it red, put some striping on It and made it more versatile-- rustproof with some of the applications they put on,” said Sweet.

County leaders said the vehicle is not just for Pulaski County; it is to help the entire region.

Pulaski County purchased the material to build it and Appalachian Machine fabricated the skid unit with the tanks and pumps mounted on it. The county’s Fire Medic crew, along with Special Operations Team members, assisted with prepping the truck to be painted. Fontaine Modifications detailed and painted the entire truck. Sweet said Heytex also donated a roll of material for a new tarp to be fashioned as rear bed covering.

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