By Sterling McGinn

Through a Graymont grant and assistance from the Fish and Hunt Shop in Curtis, the Hendricks Township EMS is receiving a new UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) for emergency rescue.

Hendricks Township, home to Epoufette and the Cut River Bridge, is in Mackinac County.

“We had horrible snowmobile accidents in our township last year and the EMS had trouble reaching them,” said Hendricks Township Board Trustee Jeff Dishaw.   “A couple of the accidents were fatalities.”

Township officials knew they needed to come up with a better solution for emergency rescue, though funding stood in the way.

Dishaw said that Newberry and Curtis use a Snowbulance, which is mounted on skis designed to be pulled by a snowmobile or ATV, but he had heard that another township in the Upper Peninsula was receiving a UTV.

“We started to do some research and I called Fish and Hunt,” Dishaw said. “Fish and Hunt was building one for Powell Township.”

Hendricks Township applied for a Graymont grant through Lake Superior State University. The Graymont Community and Economic Development Fund was established in cooperation with E.U.P. organizations to provide opportunities for enhanced economic growth and projects.

Once the grant was awarded, the UTV was ordered through the Fish and Hunt Shop. Fish and Hunt also applied for a grant, which was through Can-Am. An additional 10 percent off was given for Hendricks Township.

The vehicle, which is equipped with emergency rescue equipment, will include an enclosed patient transportation section for snowmobile accidents and other rescue missions.

The canvas cover was made by Gerald Blank from Blank Upholstery. “Gerald did an awesome job on the cover and Bob from Fish and Hunt was great to work with,” said Dishaw.

The UTV arrived at the Fish and Hunt Shop last week, where the frame for the patient transportation section was built.

The vehicle was delivered to the Township yesterday

Dishaw and his fellow board members are very proud to have secured the UTV as it is one of very few in use in the Upper Peninsula.

The vehicle will be stored at the township complex on Hiawatha Trail near US-2. The township hall, EMS building and fire hall are all located on the same site.