County receives new rescue airboat

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Vidorian staff photo

Orange County Office of Emergency Management received a brand new 18-foot, 556-horsepower airboat from Rebuild Texas, the Hurricane Harvey recovery group of the Michael and Susan Dell foundation on Tuesday afternoon. Pictured from left to right are Precinct #4 County Commissioner Robert Viator, Orange County Judge John Gothia, Orange County Emergency Management Coordinator Joel Ardoin, Precinct 2 Commissioner Theresa Beauchamp, standing in the boat, Emergency Management Office Special Project Coordinator Michelle Tubbleville, Precinct #1 Commissioner Johnny Trahan, an unidentified representative of American Airboat Corp. and Precinct #3 County Commissioner Kirk Roccaforte.

This week on Tuesday, the Orange County Office of Emergency Management took possession of a brand new 18-foot rescue airboat that was a gift from Rebuild Texas, the private hurricane recovery philanthropy group of the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. The flat-bottomed aluminum boat and its trailer are valued at over $87,000. The Orange County Commissioners, the County Judge and the Orange County Emergency Management Coordinator were all on hand outside of the County Annex Building to accept the delivery of the new air boat.

“It’s an airboat with a 556 horsepower aircraft engine on it, which we are going to use for search and rescue operations and we will assist other agencies as needed for things that may happen in their jurisdiction,” said Orange County Emergency Management Coordinator Joel Ardoin. By “assist other agencies” Mr. Ardoin was referring to the County’s intention to provide the airboat complete with the county’s own certified airboat operator, to other government entities like the City of Vidor or the Orange County Emergency Services District #1 in Vidor in flood or disaster emergencies.

 

 

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