Local Business and Charitable Organization Donate Rescue Vehicle

City Council Members John Tucker, Marc Crail, Mayor Nick Girone, Council Members Cal Rolfson, Cathy Hoechst

Christmas comes early for Mount Dora first responders

The citizens of Mount Dora recently gained an unprecedented, new level of protection for their men and women in blue – a Lenco MedEvac Armored Rescue Vehicle.  The Mount Dora Police Department was able to acquire the $288,000 vehicle thanks largely to the generosity of long-time Mount Dora business Main Street Leasing.

The purchase of the vehicle was made possible when Main Street Leasing made a sizable donation toward its purchase earlier this year. The Mount Dora Heroes Foundation supplied additional funding for the rescue vehicle.  The Mount Dora Heroes Foundations is a Florida nonprofit that supports the men, women, and canine officers of the Mount Dora Police Department.

Mount Dora joins other Florida law enforcement agencies such as Ocala, St. Petersburg, and Orlando that have also added a Lenco Armored Rescue Vehicle to their public safety fleets. The vehicle is highly desired by law enforcement agencies for its versatility, superior armor level, and relatively low maintenance costs. The vehicle is designed to meet the combined requirements of SWAT and tactical EMS Teams.  It is also provisioned to accommodate safe, effective, on-site emergency first aid treatment.

MedEvac Armored Rescue Vehicle
MedEvac Armored Rescue Vehicle

The armored Lenco police vehicle is used by municipal law enforcement agencies, state police, and sheriff’s department SWAT teams for personnel protection and rescue missions. It was a Lenco BearCat, outfitted similarly to the MedEvac, that the Orlando SWAT team used to punch through the wall of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando to help stop the shooter who killed 49 people in June of this year.

“Our armored vehicles were instrumental in the rescue operation that saved dozens of lives in the early morning hours of June 12th at the Pulse Nightclub. Not only did the vehicles provide protection for our officers as the shooter opened fire on our SWAT Team, but it was used to punch large holes in the wall which enabled us to safely rescue the hostages.  This needed equipment will assist all of Central Florida in our readiness and preparation if tragedy strikes again,” says Orlando’s Police Chief John Mina.

Lenco Industries, headquartered in Pittsfield, Massachusetts designs and manufactures the MedEvac, along with an assortment of law enforcement and military vehicles.  The almost 20,000 pound vehicle is the ultimate upgrade to the Mount Dora Police Department’s tactical equipment.  It replaces an 18-year-old, re-purposed ambulance that the Mount Dora Police Department inherited from the Lake County Sheriff’s office.  The MedEvac has room inside for 10 people, thick armor plating, ability to run on flat tires, gun mount platforms, and multi-hit ballistic glass.

The vehicle is also specially outfitted as a field triage station to treat the injured and/or wounded. The Mount Dora Police Department’s MedEvac is equipped with oxygen tanks, medical stations, IV hangers on both sides of the vehicle, interior compartments for medical supplies, and internal directional lighting designed to assist with first aid ministrations.  These lifesaving components could prove to be essential during Florida’s hurricane season.

Proclamation from Mayor Nick Girone
Proclamation from Mayor Nick Girone

Employing the MedEvac, local first responders will now be able to reach those with life-threatening emergencies during severe weather events, such as hurricanes.  Until now, police emergency response during hurricanes has been severely limited.  Deployment of officers has typically been curtailed during hurricanes and storms, where sustained winds in excess of 35-40 MPH could push vehicles from the roadway.  According to representatives from Lenco the MedEvac can be safely deployed during sustained winds as high as 75 MPH and can navigate standing water up to 2-1/2 feet deep – over twice the depth that current police vehicles can safely traverse.

“There is no greater service that our company can offer to our community than the protection and support of the men and women of the Mount Dora Police Department – and the citizens who will be assisted through the use of this vehicle.  We feel fortunate to be able to partner with the Police Department and the Mount Dora Heroes Foundation in such a meaningful way,” said Larry Baker, spokesperson for Main Street Leasing.

Mount Dora Deputy Police Chief Robert Bell, Lake County Sheriff-elect Peyton Grinnell, Lake County Sheriff Gary Borders, Mount Dora Police Chief John O’Grady

Mount Dora Police Chief John O’Grady feels the vehicle will help in emergency preparedness and response, saying,“The MedEvac Armored Rescue Vehicle is in a league of its own when it comes to protecting officers and the community.  I want to thank Main Street Leasing, the Mount Dora Heroes Foundation, and the community for sending a clear message to the men and women of the Mount Dora Police Department that they are valued and supported.  We hear you and we thank you.”

The community is invited to the official unveiling of the MedEvac Rescue Vehicle during Light Up Mount Dora on Saturday, November 26th.  The vehicle will be parked in the pedestrian mall on 4th Avenue between McDonald and Alexander Streets from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. the evening of the Light Up Celebration that is hosted by the Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Mount Dora.