With the snow flying in the air as the track system chews through drifts it brings smiles to the faces of people who are watching. It may seem to the gotta have toy of the year, but in reality it may the answer to motorists and residents stranded by Wisconsin blizzards.
The Blizzard Buster track system sits beneath the wheels of a pickup truck. It allows the vehicle to pass through snow drifts and get emergency service crews to stranded people.
Dane County is among the first agencies in the country to acquire the Blizzard Buster. The system was developed by a Canadian company. Dane County was able to acquire the Blizzard Buster for $25,000.
“We have a very diverse county geographically, not only urban but we have some very rural areas. We have some areas that are tough to get to. Someone could slide off a road and you need to get down there and so really saving lives and protecting our public has to be number one and if there’s technology available that allows us to do that better we have a responsibility to explore it and test it out,” says Joe Parisi, County Executive for Dane County.
Previous blizzards in Wisconsin that force road closures pointed out to emergency service officials the need to find solutions to reaching stranded people. On February 6, 2008 a blizzard forced the closure of roads in Wisconsin that lasted for several days.
The addition of the Blizzard Buster and 16 four-wheel-drives SUV’s purchased for Sheriff’s Deputies has dramatically improved the counties ability to respond to snow emergencies.
“Our inability at that time to get to people in need to today, we are prepared for those exact types of situations,” says Sheriff Dave Mahoney.
This Blizzard Buster is part of a pilot program for Dane County. If the county likes the results it plans to purchase three more Blizzard Busters after the first of the year.