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The only snowmobile rescue team in Illinois is in Knox County

GALESBURG, Illinois-- It's no secret most drivers around the Quad Cities don't look forward to traveling in the snow, but there's a group in Knox County who can't get enough of it, the Knox County Snowmobile Search and Rescue team.

Once it's in your blood, you can't get it out.

"My dad had the concept of this snowmobile search and rescue team. Oh yeah, we're snowmobile junkies," says director Pat Hennenfent.

Now this band of brothers uses their need for speed to help others.

They're the only snowmobile rescue team in the state.

"It's imperative people know what we're capable of and they remember to call us," says Hennenfent.

When bad weather hits and people get stranded, 9-1-1 dispatchers call these guys.

"Our job is to get paramedics to the scene," says Hennenfent.

Hennenfent and 30 other members of his team are called out on their snowmobiles. The teams have a "rescue boggen" that's filled with all the medical supplies they need. It can also be used to carry victims to safety.

This year alone they've responded to about 150 calls for help. Tasks can be as simple as bringing stranded drivers water or blankets or saving someone's life.

"In the recent snow, we did have a heart attack victim, and they could not get within 5 miles of him," says Hennenfent. "His daughters were with him, and they didn't know what to do. We're glad to say he survived."

The team trains once a month, and coming up on January 27, 2019, they will have a search and rescue demonstration for all local law enforcement to attend to learn more about this volunteer service.

"To serve others doing something you enjoy, that's pretty cool," says Hennenfent.

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