It's the first of its kind for search and rescue teams in Pennington County. The highly versatile SHERP PRO vehicle can be used for rescue operations in the Black Hills, no matter the weather conditions.
More information: https://www.esc.guide/sherp
"Pennington County has so many varying terrains that usually one vehicle can't do it all... and this one comes very close," said Pennington County Search and Rescue member, Shawn Gab.
It's capable of going over water, rocks, trees and boulders. The vehicle will be lifesaving for Western South Dakota.
"Water, snow, ice, boulders, big rocks, logs... pretty much anywhere we want to go we can go with it," said Pennington County Search and Rescue member, Matthew Beard.
The ATV-like vehicle comes with a price-tag around $121,000, but search and rescue says the value outweighs the cost.
"It has extreme value. We looked at other equipment to see if we could find something else that had more value for our purpose, and we didn't. This beat by a wide margin," said Gab.
The SHERP PRO can not only drive through water, but float on top of it. When terrain changes, the tire pressure is adjusted by search and rescue, something the team says takes intensive training.
'It takes a few hours of initial training to even be comfortable driving this around in flat level ground. Big level terrain like this can take many, many hours of practice to learn the different types of steering inputs, tire pressure changes.. everything can make a difference," said Beard.
Search and rescue said the SHERP PRO has already been used in the field for a snow rescue, and was successful.