FARMINGTON — Davis County has taken ownership of an amphibious emergency vehicle to lessen the financial burden it presents for the all-volunteer sheriff’s search and rescue team.
The county is paying $10 to acquire the Sisu Nasu vehicle that can reach places otherwise inaccessible with normal rescue vehicles.
Sheriff Kelly Sparks said insuring and maintaining the amphibious machine could be a hardship for the search and rescue foundation.
He said the move makes sense because his office has a statutory obligation to provide search and rescue.
“We have been very fortunate we have search and rescue volunteers who are dedicated folks,” Sparks said. “What I have tried to do as sheriff is formalize a little better their relationship with this office.”
Having major search vehicles, such as the Sisu Nasu and some large trailers, in the county fleet “is just a better way of doing things,” Sparks said.
The Woods Cross-based “Diesel Brothers” donated the amphibious machine to the search and rescue team in 2017. Two cast members of the “Diesel Brothers” reality TV show are search and rescue team members.
The Sisu Nasu can go 5 mph in the water and 40 mph on the ground, according to manufacturer specifications.
Sparks said the machine has proved its value — it was used last year to rescue some lost duck hunters.
“All along the Great Salt Lake in all of our wetlands out there, we have a pretty large growth of fragmites, eight or nine feet tall, so thick you can’t walk through them,” the sheriff said.
But with the Sisu Nasu, it took about half an hour to reach the lost and disoriented hunters because it could drive right through the fragmites, he said.
“It would have taken hours otherwise,” he said. “If someone is injured this can be very significant.”