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BPA donation helps Hood River County Sheriff's Office rescue efforts
5/16/2012 12:00 AM
The Hood River County Sheriff's Office will use the travel trailer as a mobile command center on the scene of major criminal incidents, searches and for public events.
Hood River County Sheriff's Office
has added an all-terrain vehicle and two trailers to its inventory thanks to a donation by the Bonneville Power Administration. The sheriff's office will use the equipment for criminal investigations and search and rescue missions in Hood River County and the Columbia River Gorge.
"This donation has an immediate impact since every resource we can deploy in a rescue effort improves our odds of finding those that are missing and in need," said Sheriff Joe Wampler.
BPA offers excess equipment to suitable state and local government organizations when it upgrades its fleet to meet changing operational needs.
"Our crews used this equipment to perform work throughout the region, so donations like this ensure our retired equipment continues to serve the people of the Northwest. And in this case, the ATV and trailers could very well help the sheriff's office save a life," said Joel Scruggs, BPA public affairs specialist.
The sheriff's office will use the travel trailer as a mobile command center on the scene of major criminal incidents, searches and for public events. The utility trailer fills the office's need to haul multiple ATVs, equipment or material. And in addition to search and rescue operations, the ATV will allow personnel to access remote, hard to access areas and haul cargo in or out in the process.
Ulrik Larsen, BPA's property disposal officer, says the agency is accountable to the region for getting the most value for its excessed equipment.
"BPA could have sold the equipment at market value, but often times we think there's more value in donating items like these to local agencies than selling them outright."
Last year, BPA
donated six ATVs that Skamania County
now uses for search and rescue operations and some criminal investigations. In 2009, BPA
donated a snow cat to the volunteer Volcano Rescue Team of North Country Emergency Medical Services
in Yacolt, Wash. BPA's Transmission Line Maintenance crews use snow cats to access remote areas that aren't accessible by their lift trucks. In fact, BPA crews needed snow cats to repair the 115-kilovolt Bonneville-Hood River line that was damaged in a January storm.
"Providing needed equipment to state and local government organizations brings value to the Northwest and allows those organizations to spend tax dollars on other needs," added Larsen.
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