Students at Manatee technical school repair non-profit’s vehicles used to help Hurricane Ian victims | From Fox 13 News

When floodwaters from Hurricane Ian, trapped people and animals in their homes and land in Myakka City, a Manatee County non-profit answered the call for help.

“I have not seen that level of water. The amount of devastation that we saw,” said Jared Leggett.

Manatee County Search and Rescue used their jet skis, a Humvee and LMT vehicle to check on and rescue those stuck.

“It’s one of those things where you know people need you and you need to be there for them,” said Leggett.

Manatee County Search and Rescue used their jet skis, a Humvee and LMT vehicle to help Hurricane Ian victims.

Manatee County Search and Rescue used their jet skis, a Humvee and LMT vehicle to help Hurricane Ian victims. 

Once the mission was over, Chief Jared Leggett had another task ahead of him.

 

“Everything has to be either maintained or changed or get the preventative maintenance done on them,” he explained.

All of the water damages the vehicles and preparing them for the next deployment could have cost the non-profit, thousands.

A member of Manatee County Search and Rescue with a horse the group helped rescue after Hurricane Ian.

A member of Manatee County Search and Rescue with a horse the group helped rescue after Hurricane Ian.

“These vehicles are all made out of heavy iron and water is like the worst thing for iron. When they came in, they had lots of water contamination in their systems,” stated Adam Green, the instructor for the Diesel Systems Technology Program at Manatee Technical College.

The school stepped in to lend a hand.

 

“There’s a lot of unique systems on them that they won’t see anywhere else. They’re going to leave here much more talented than anywhere else,” explained Green.

Students at Manatee Technical College learn valuable skills as they repair the non-profit's vehicles after Hurricane Ian.

Students at Manatee Technical College learn valuable skills as they repair the non-profit’s vehicles after Hurricane Ian. 

As students worked on the vehicles’ engines and other parts, they learned an even more valuable lesson.

“These vehicles have to go out and help people so you have to be very diligent when you work on them,” said Ryan Lazarus, a student in the program.

He said helping the non-profit opened their eyes.

“The vehicles working properly could be the difference between someone’s life and death,” he shared.

Students at Manatee Technical College help repair vehicles used in Hurricane Ian flood waters.

Students at Manatee Technical College help repair vehicles used in Hurricane Ian flood waters. 

The vehicles are ready for whatever call they receive next as are the students who will graduate in April.

“It goes hand in hand that they’re these students are not only gaining an education but they’re also giving back to the community in which they live in,” said Leggett.

 

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