New Search and Rescue Polaris Razors
by Sgt. Rex Reece
The Sheriff’s Search and Rescue units have been assisting the Sheriff’s Office for decades in various roles. One of these roles is to assist California State Parks during Holiday Weekends, with medical assistance and general visibility for the public. Memorial Day weekend of 2009, we lost one of our members to a very tragic accident on one of our 4-wheel quad vehicles as he was responding to a medical aid call. After taking office, Sheriff Parkinson vowed to phase out the 4-wheel quads due to the inherent danger of operating them. In 2015, the Sworn Deputy Sheriff’s Off-Highway Vehicle Team was developed for patrolling rural areas in an off-road capacity. Due to the success of those vehicles, the Sheriff again expressed his desire to get rid of the 4-wheel quads. He secured funding for three Polaris Razors from the Sheriff’s Advisory Foundation to replace the four 4-wheel quads we had been utilizing for various SAR missions and events.
Polaris Razors XP 1000 Sports are four-seat vehicles that will allow the SAR Off-Road teams to deploy quickly at various missions. The Razors can be utilized to transport team members, medical equipment, and supplies, and if feasible retrieve injured members of the public. Three Razors were ordered with 4500-pound winches, which will be valuable in various techniques the teams utilize in their rescues. They will provide a response platform for many things in the SAR Missions. The razors will also allow members to have more of a proactive presence in the various areas of our county at missions and events. Their presence at the Sheriff’s Family Day is evidence that the Razors are a public magnet and a good PR tool. They provide another selling point for the public to inquire about opportunities with the Sheriff’s Office. Members will be given hands-on training by our partners at California State Parks due to their expertise in the safe operation of these units. Members will be protected using full-face helmets which were negotiated in the sale of the razors from Cal Customs in Paso Robles. Initially, one of the razors will be incorporated into the Urban Search and Rescue Trailer which was funded by the lost members’ family. It will be extremely valuable in an urban SAR mission due to the mobility it will provide to the team. The other units will be utilized as often as possible to fulfill the SAR Missions for many years to come. In summary, they will provide a very safe and efficient platform for performing Search and Rescue Missions in the future. We (Search and Rescue) are very thankful for the support of the Sheriff and the Sheriff’s Advisory Foundation for the extremely generous funding of these items to help support the SAR Mission.