Humvees aren’t the smoothest ride but when battling ice and snow they’re one of the safest options out there. Anderson County and the National Guard relied on the military vehicles to respond to emergencies during the storm.
“In the extreme conditions when we’re telling the public to stay off roadways to stay home to me it’s comforting to know we have the equipment to do our jobs,” says Captain Matthew Littleton with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.
The Humvees went to medical calls, shuttled dispatchers to and from the 911 center, took employees to work at the hospital and picked up stranded motorists. Each vehicle had a paramedic, deputy and emergency responder inside. If there was a need, the Humvees were there.
“We knew we couldn’t get our cars out of our driveway, they said they would send someone to come get us,” says Joe Hawkins, a Red Cross Volunteer.
Hawkins and his wife wouldn’t have made it to the Anderson Civic Center for their shift at the shelter if not for the Humvees.
“All our neighbors were going to the door, ‘what’s a Humvee doing in the neighborhood?’” Hawkins says.
The County got the Humvees from the State Surplus in 2011. They were a gift so the County didn’t have to pay for them. There is a small registration fee they pay each year for the vehicles, says Sheriff John Skipper.
Emergency leaders have been waiting since 2011 to use the Humvees in a snow storm. They knew they’d play a crucial role.