SHADY HILLS, Fla. -- Jeeps are known to handle all sorts of terrain, and the Pasco Sheriff's Office is utilizing the vehicle's off-road capabilities with its Volunteer Jeep Search and Rescue Unit.
The team of 27 Jeep owners volunteer their time and vehicles to help the sheriff’s office, as well as other law enforcement agencies, get to places that a typical police cruiser can’t go.
The Jeep unit is under the leadership of Cpl. Arthur Madden. “There's no cost attachment to that unit, yet it is extremely beneficial...We're coming up on our rainy season, hand downs we're (going to) be available hands-down, we're (going to) help out,” he says.
The group of men and women have received CPR, first responder and Community Emergency Response Team training. They take online courses provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and train monthly with different organizations to help them better serve Pasco, and it’s surrounding counties.
The unit began recruiting member in January of this year. Madden says they've already been called on twice to assist in search and recovery situations, “Whether people are aware or not we were instrumental in clearing certain areas, to ensure people weren't where we were looking for them.”
And being able to help is why people like Fred Golliner, volunteers. “I myself was a fireman for 30 years, and we've got police officers, and we've got doctors, that's what they did, and now they have an opportunity to continue that.”
If you're interested in joining the Pasco County Sheriff's Jeep Unit, you can find out how on their website, https://pascosheriff.com/jeep-unit/