Lebanon Public Safety acquired a new rescue vehicle to aid in its operations.
The vehicle, known as an MRAP, or mine-resistant ambush protected, vehicle is primarily used for rescue missions, Public Safety Coordinator Mike Justice said.
“It’s usually used basically for rescues, active shooter-type rescues. If we had an officer in trouble, we can use it as a shield. It has protective armor – we can get it in between the bad guys and the good guys.”
The department currently has an MRAP vehicle that was in service for 10 or 11 years. Justice said they were happy with that vehicle, except for the fact that the new one will have air conditioning for the crew.
He said when temperatures climb into the 90s, as often happens in the summer months, the temperature inside the MRAP can approach 110 degrees. He also said the new vehicle is easier for the crew to enter and exit, and it has more of a typical truck chassis that would make it easier to find parts for maintenance.
The new MRAP vehicle comes to the department from San Antonio, Texas. It recently returned from service overseas, he said. The current MRAP vehicle will be returned to another military base once the new one is ready for service.
“Within a couple of months [the new vehicle] should be in service,” he said.
Justice also said the MRAP can be used in high water, in places that many of the department’s vehicles cannot cross.
The MRAP holds seven crew members, plus the driver and passenger.
“It is a crew protective vehicle,” said Justice. “Providing the safety for officers and the general public – you can’t put a price on a life.”
Justice said the new MRAP vehicle cost $850,000, but it’s assigned to Lebanon Public Safety at no cost from the U.S. Department of Defense.