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Weld Sheriff’s Office deputies deploy R1, assist 18 stuck drivers during Thursday blizzard

Posted on 03/20/2020

In response to Thursday afternoon’s blizzard, the Weld County Sheriff’s Office deployed Rescue 1 and assisted nearly 20 drivers who had become stuck in the elements.

Rescue 1 is a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected military vehicle, or MRAP. It was deployed about 4:30 p.m. Thursday to conduct a safety patrol in the county.

By midnight Friday, deputies utilized Rescue 1 to tow six vehicles to safety on Colo. 52 at Weld County Road 43, just west of Hudson. It was then used to move deputies four miles northeast to Interstate 76 and Weld 49 where four vehicles had become stuck at the onramp. Eight more vehicles were towed or hand-pushed to safety on Colo. 52 and Weld 79, south of Roggen.

The Weld County Sheriff’s Office received Rescue 1 in 2014 through the U.S. Department of Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office grant process. The MRAP had 8,000 miles and a price tag of $750,000, but it didn’t cost taxpayers a dime thanks to the federal grant. Had it not been acquired by the county, Rescue 1 likely would have been destroyed as the design and its equipment had been phased out by the Defense Department.

Since it was delivered, the sheriff’s office has deployed Rescue 1 on an average of 20 missions per year. It is primarily used as a rescue vehicle during extreme weather events. It can also be used on SWAT calls.

Rescue 1 was not modified after its purchase, aside from the addition of police lights and a “nifty” paint job, said Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams.