Members of Vernon Search and Rescue received an early Christmas present this week – a brand new side-by-side all-terrain vehicle, courtesy of KIOTI Tractor.
The volunteer group recently won the $20,000 piece of equipment in the KIOTI Tractor ‘First Responders Shout Out’ online video competition where they beat out first responder groups across North America, ultimately winning by 500 votes.
The competition, which was only open to first responders, asked participants to submit a video two minutes in length, explaining why a side-by-side would be useful to them.
The winning video, which was shot and produced by VSAR ground search team leader, Trevor Honigman, earned the top spot by public vote.
Leigh Pearson, a VSAR search manager said the team learned they won over a week ago, and were “totally caught off guard” when KIOTI presented VSAR at their Christmas party Thursday evening.
Pearson said the group was thrilled and completely surprised, though he noted, he was not surprised to see Honigman’s work take a top prize.
“Trevor is one of our ground search team leaders — and one of our good guys,” Pearson said. “He’s really excellent at what he does, both with VSAR, and with his company, Beacon Studios Inc.”
Honigman, said he was thankful for the win and ongoing support from the community.
“Our team at Vernon Search and Rescue is humbly amazed at the overwhelming level of support we received from the individuals, families, organizations and communities who helped us win the contest,” Honigman said.
“It’s a reflection of the same willingness to help that our volunteers feel when we spend many hours, days and nights in training or responding to emergency calls. It is very satisfying to know that people are watching our backs too, in our own time of need.”