The Los Angeles County Lifeguard Service has been using the 2009 Ford Escape Hybrids for the past year. The vehicles have allowed them to reduce fuel costs and protect the environment while patrolling their 72 miles of coastline.
The environmentally friendly, four-wheel drive SUVs have played a very important role in several rescue missions. In October 2008, the lifeguards used the vehicles to rescue passengers involved in a single engine plane crash. And in January 2009, they used an Escape Hybrid to tow a wave runner into position to rescue a kayaker who had capsized.
Even though the lifeguards have been driving more often this year due to a 20 percent rise in beach attendance, they’ve reduced fuel cost by 25 percent. This reduced cost has helped them maintain a necessary high level of staffing, despite the troubled economy.