(Fall City) Late last year the King County Sheriff’s Office received a light tracked snow vehicle from the Department of Defense to be used for search and rescue missions. The Sheriff’s Office invited Fall City Elementary Students the opportunity to name the new snow vehicle. The winning name was submitted by 5 year old Elena Traverso. “Scotty” was selected by King County Search and Rescue deputies from 250 entries received.
Near the end of 2015 the King County Sheriff’s Office received a light tracked snow vehicle, also known as a “snowcat,” from the Department of Defense’s 1033 program. That program provides surplus equipment to law enforcement and fire departments throughout the country.
The Sheriff’s Office invited Fall City Elementary Students the opportunity to name the new snow vehicle. The winning name was submitted by 5 year old Elena Traverso. “Scotty” was selected by King County Search and Rescue deputies from 250 entries received.
On Friday morning King County Sheriff John Urquhart and King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert were at the school to present the winner with a certificate and “swag” to Elena and her classmates.
“This contest was a great opportunity for 5 year olds to get to use their creativity to help their real life "superheroes,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “ It is a fun interaction with law enforcement in a very positive way. We need to help build strong relationships with all our first responders.”
In January the snow vehicle had its first mission and successfully rescued two hikers who were stranded in deep snow near Rattlesnake Ridge. In snowy terrain the snow vehicle allows rescuers to get to lost or injured hikers and bring them down in a warm vehicle instead of using up to 30 or more search and rescue volunteers to carry the person out.
“There is a misconception that the Department of Defense program only supplies military weapons and vehicles to law enforcement,” said Sheriff John Urquhart. “The majority of items we have received are non military items such as cold weather gear, gloves, flashlights and radio equipment.”
In addition to the Snowcat, the Sheriff’s Office has also received a surplus helicopter and related parts from the program. Guardian 2 is an old military Huey helicopter the Sheriff’s Office uses for search and rescue missions. The Huey has the ability to carry equipment and personnel for a mission and is equipped with a hoist to lower personnel into a situation or lift lost or injured hikers out.