Search and rescue crew receives long-awaited command center

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – A non-profit search and rescue team left high and dry by a company that took their money, but did not deliver their new trailer, finally got the equipment it needed.

In May 2015, Peace River k9 Search and Rescue founder and president Mike Hadsell spent $2,000 for a trailer to be used as the organization’s command center. The trailer would store equipment, cool off the search dogs and provide a place for his team to remain organized during a search.

“You make or break a search in the first two to three hours,” explained Hadsell.

Hadsell said in November he paid Husky Cargo, based out of Bartow, to make the custom trailer. But Hadsell never got the trailer. The company closed shop and Hadsell said his money was gone for good.

“It’s terrible…we’ve got to basically start over from scratch,” he said at the time.

An exclusive WINK News investigation uncovered that Hadsell was not the only one who lost his money. Authorities received 34 complaints about Husky Cargo. The company was accused of taking at least $147,000 from customers across the country who never received a trailer or their money back. A note left on the gates of the closed company said it was seized by its creditor.

After hearing about Hadsell’s hardship, Shawn Dixon, vice-president of Roy’s Trailer Country in Punta Gorda, reached out to one of their trailer manufacturers and was able to get a custom trailer for Peace River at cost, meaning neither the manufacturer nor Roy’s Trailer Country made any money off the deal.

Beyond search and rescues, Hadsell said he plans to deploy it to fire scenes to assist with firefighter rehab and to marathons to be used as a first aid station.

Reporter:Katie Cribbs
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