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THP Unveils Emergency Vehicles for Winter Rescues

By Cyndi Lundeberg
By clundeberg@wbbjtv.com

MADISON COOUNTY, Tenn., - West Tennesseeans weren't the only ones preparing for the potentially hazardous storm this Christmas. Tennessee's Highway Patrol is finally for the first time putting to use their Hummer vehicles used for severe weather.

These old military Hummers will be used to transport up to twenty people out of potentially hazardous situations normal cars would have difficulty.

Lieutenant Brad Wilbanks says the THP felt it was necessary to acquire one of these vehicles after a severe storm a few years ago.

"We learned our lesson after our response wasn't what is should've been...we learned our lesson and we aren't going to let it happen again," said Wilbanks.

There are only a handful of these emergency vehicles including the one in Jackson. They can be used to help people in any type of weather other than snow including tornadoes, flooding and earthquakes.

The Lieutenant also says these vehicles are a necessity to protecting people out using the roads. "We need them.... they expect us to help them, we are the THP."

Wilbanks says these emergency Hummers are vital to helping out other officers as well. "Our troopers are out there in severe weather sometimes off the road if they get stuck we need to be able to get to them and quick."

Wilbanks says it would be great if they never have to put the vehicles in action. "We hope we never have to use them but we're thankful we got them."