A car is now resting at the bottom of Glenn Shoals Lake in Hillsboro, and members of the volunteer fire department dive team hope it will be a useful tool in helping them sharpen their skills.
Volunteer firefighters spent Sunday morning, Feb. 16, cutting through the ice and submerging a car that will be used for training throughout the year. The vehicle is under water near the southeast end of the lake where depth is over 20 feet.
"The easiest time to get it out there is when there is ice on the lake," fire chief Joe Lyerla said.
The vehicle will be used for a number of training exercises, including practice targeting with sonar equipment, plus several different dive scenarios.
"We've got some ice equipment coming in the next week, so we hope to do an ice dive while the ice is still on," Lyerla said.
The car was donated by Elam's Towing. The engine and all fluids were removed from the vehicle to prevent any possibility of leaks.
Eight volunteers assisted in the task of cutting the ice Sunday, and you wouldn't believe how thick it was.
"Eleven and three-quarter inches," Lyerla said, "and it was good, clear ice."
It took about an hour and 10 minutes to cut a 20-foot by eight-foot rectangle with chain saws before an ATV pushed the vehicle across the frozen, snow-covered lake and into the water.