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Why Lenco's BearCat MedEvac G3 is a trusted rescue, response vehicle during natural disasters

Responding to a natural disaster emergency doesn't mean the scene is safe from other possible hazards or dangers


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Sponsored by Lenco Armored Vehicles

By Sarah Calams for FireRescue1 BrandFocus

Today's first responders are faced with many unique and difficult challenges.

With the BearCat's all-steel armor construction, responders can rest easy knowing they're safe no matter what type of emergency they respond to. (image/Lenco Armored Vehicles)
With the BearCat's all-steel armor construction, responders can rest easy knowing they're safe no matter what type of emergency they respond to. (image/Lenco Armored Vehicles)

Aside from responding to fire and medical calls, firefighters across the country are increasingly being called to assist during mass shootings, wildfires and natural disasters.

While on scene, crews are rescuing victims while their own houses are flooding or burning down. Additionally, firefighters must also remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings in case a call goes sideways, resulting in a potential physical attack or shooting.

These new challenges have renewed the call for extra protection – like ballistic vests and the right to carry firearms on duty – and the importance of proper lifesaving equipment.

And, although firefighters vow to serve and protect regardless of the circumstance, Lenco Armored Vehicle's BearCat MedEvac G3 was designed to protect first responders and the communities they serve.

Trusted response and rescue vehicle

The BearCat MedEvac G3 is a trusted response and rescue vehicle. Its purpose is to help protect firefighters during dangerous calls, ranging from active shooter incidents to natural disaster response. The on- and off-road vehicle meets the needs of tactical fire and EMS teams, providing personnel as well as rescued victims with a safe and effective environment.

Firefighter-paramedic Jennifer Leondike, who responded to and helped rescue victims during Hurricane Irma in 2017, said the ability to treat patients while moving away from a dangerous scene was possible because of the BearCat.

"I train tactically with some other agencies that do have BearCats…we practice doing tactical medicine in the back so we can actually treat patients while we're moving them away from the emergency scene," Leondike said.

Before utilizing the BearCat, this was not an option for her team, Leondike added.

"It's something we would never be able to do in a car, because there's just not the space to do it … or just even a regular van, because then we're too worried about not having the armored capability," she said.

And, responding to a natural disaster emergency doesn't mean the scene is safe from other possible hazards or dangers.

All-steel armor construction

In Sept. 2017, looters targeted firefighters and police officers during Hurricane Harvey. The group of responders came under fire while they were conducting search and rescue operations.

The situation escalated quickly, causing police officers to divert from making high-water rescues to respond to the situation. Ultimately, this turned into a life-or-death situation for the responders and victims on scene.

However, with the BearCat's all-steel armor construction, responders can rest easy knowing they're safe no matter what type of emergency they respond to.

"I would relate [the BearCat] to a bulletproof vest," Pinellas Park (Fla.) Police Department Corporal Freeland Hoffman said. "They wouldn't be OK with me going to work without my vest."

On top of Lenco's proven armor system, the BearCat MedEvac G3 provides firefighters with a ruggedized off-road platform.

Going off-road

With the BearCat, crews are able to locate, reach and rescue victims more easily and effectively than a standard department vehicle.

For example, Leondike said the BearCat allowed her team to respond to a neighborhood that floods frequently during Hurricane Irma. "We had to take our BearCat out, because it could go through the higher level water," she said.

Leondike and her team were able to safely reach and rescue more than a dozen victims from rising floodwaters – thanks to the BearCat's off-road tires, rims, run flats, heavy-duty suspension and increased ground clearance.

Similar to firefighters training and preparing for a variety of potential emergencies and scenarios, the BearCat provides departments with a capable, effective and safe off-road vehicle solution – no matter the circumstance.

"When we go to a call-out and we have a BearCat to get in and out of safely … that's a huge security blanket for my family," Hoffman said.

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