Local Emergency Management Will Soon Get Hovercraft
WISH TV 8, Indianapolis, IN
By Eric Halvorson
INDIANAPOLIS - When you hear a siren, you know what to
look for; a police car, a fire truck, or an
ambulance. 24-Hour News 8 has exclusively learned
that Indianapolis is about to take charge of
something completely different.
While it is not something you'd expect in
Indianapolis, in the next week or so, Marion County
expects to take delivery of a hovercraft. It would be
used in situations too difficult for traditional
rescue equipment, but the hovercraft has raised a few
"It did catch my attention," Council candidate Tim
Maguire spotted a "hovercraft" reference at a
City-County budget hearing last month.
"It does seem like an odd thing. Indianapolis, what do
we need a hovercraft for? How have we been getting
along so far without it," Maguire said.
At that hearing Indianapolis Fire Chief Jim Greeson
said a hovercraft can do things current machines
"If we have a weather related incident in the winter
time, whether it's snow or blizzard, where we cannot
reach residents by normal means of transportation, a
hovercraft can maneuver over the snow," Chief Greeson
But after the meeting, neither Greeson nor anyone else
with the city would talk about it. They preferred a
Late Wednesday a spokesperson with the Department of
Emergency Management did answer our questions. While
there are different sizes the new Marion County
craft, which is built in Terre Haute, will hold a
specially trained pilot and five other people.
The county expects to be better equipped for dangerous
incidents with the new hovercraft.
"It adds a capability that we currently do not have.
Not only to the Indianapolis Fire Department but to
Central Indiana," said Chief Greeson.
Naturally, people want to know what the hovercraft
costs. Emergency Management says it costs
No, it doesn't come from property tax money, although
you paid on the federal level. A Homeland Security
grant covers the cost of the hovercraft.