Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hovercraft Rescue Safely

It has always been a wonder to me that more fire and rescue departments don't use hovercraft as a rescue vehicle, with the ability to travel over land, water, snow, and ice it would seem to be a no brainer that the hovercraft is the most economical unit to purchase. To accomplish all the task a hover can do a department would need to purchase a boat, a snowmobile, and an ATV to be able to cover the same surface areas. Even if they purchased these vehicles it would fall short of the hovercraft. For instance, if you were traveling over ice on a snowmobile and it broke through it would be tough trying to go back and get the boat. Or consider this, if you are traveling along on water in your boat and you suddenly run into shallows with rocks, now wat do you do? In a hovercraft you simply continue on your way and complete the task at hand. The hover will travel over snow of any depth so if you need to rescue a person from the middle of a snow covered area you simply fly your hover to them. Due to the low footprint of the hover it is the perfect vehichle to perform mud rescue. The great thing about using a hovercraft for rescue is you can do it from the safety of the hover. No more climbing out to a victim on ladders or in inflatable suits, you simply fly up to the victim and pull them into the hovercraft and fly away. I was speaking with a Fire Chief recently and he was telling of a rescue they performed on ice, he said it took them nearly 45 minutes to get to the victim, he then asked me how long it would take if they used a hover and since the person was only 200 yards off shore I told him probably about 2-3 minutes from the time you launch the hover from the shore line to the point of returning. Huge difference when it comes to situations where time is of the essence. In addition to the reduction of time you would also eliminate or at least greatly reduce the danger factor for the rescue workers because they would not have to exit the hovercraft in most cases and if you did your rescue platform would be right there with you.  If you have any questions about using a hovercraft in your area for rescue purposes please contact me.

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