Stranded motorists in Bartholomew County


Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputies were busy rescuing stranded motorists from snow drifts.

One family, including their 4-year-old son, was stranded in their vehicle on 100 N.  Despite attempts by large tow trucks and 4-wheel drive vehicles, the family car had become impossibly stuck in a deep snowdrift.  Using their UTV, BCSO deputies were able to rescue the family and safely transport them home. 

“We began using UTV’s in February, 2019, when a snowstorm brought motorists to a halt and prevented our usual patrol vehicles from reaching people in need”, said Bartholomew County Sheriff Matthew A. Myers.

Since, the Sheriff’s UTV’s have been used in numerous rescues including those that are snow-related and water-related.

“Mud is seldom noteworthy”, said Bartholomew County’s Chief Deputy Major Chris Lane.  However, he added: mud is one of the nastiest and slipperiest things that we have to deal with.  “When the water level is high and you’re in mud, our UTV’s will get us around when nothing else will”, said Lane.

BCSO Road Patrol Commander, Captain Dave Steinkoenig said: “the UTVs are used for search and rescue operations and other emergency responses where our regular patrol vehicles cannot travel”.  This includes weather-related rescues like snow and flooding and, without our UTVs, we have nothing that would allow us to get through mud”, added Steinkoenig

The UTVs are fitted with emergency lighting and AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) and first aid equipment is on board.

With the assistance of Bartholomew County Emergency Management, BCSO received a Homeland Security Grant in the amount of $67,000 to purchase the two UTV’s and trailers. 

“Our agency continues to seek grant opportunities to aid in funding so that improved services can be provided”, said Major Chris Lane.  “Our employees work diligently to be resourceful, utilizing cost and savings measures whenever possible”, added Major Lane.

“Alternative vehicles allow law enforcement agencies ways to access areas when traditional patrol vehicles can’t and they are becoming more and more popular with law enforcement” said Sheriff Myers.

When patrolling the streets, traditional patrol vehicles work fine but when we’re working in snow, flooding and mud, versatility and mobility take priority”, said Captain Steinkoenig.

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