Man and Wife Create ‘Wyoming 4×4 Recovery Squad’ to Assist Vehicles Stuck in the Snow
Have you ever been stuck between a rock and a hard place? Most of us have and, for those times, there is the Wyoming 4x4 Recovery Squad.
This group, created by a man named Donavon Valentine (we know...coolest name ever) and his wife is designed to serve as a hub for people who can make themselves available to help others get out of tough situations, such as snow banks, mud, and more.
Which comes in handy in times like these.
Much of Wyoming is currently being buried under a blanket of snow. The National Weather Service has reported that Natrona County will see between 10-15 inches of snow over the next few days. There are bound to be cars that get stuck in the snow and, in those cases, the Wyoming 4x4 Squad is happy to get involved.
"This was an idea a friend of mine started while in Nebraska," Valentine told K2 Radio News. "When my wife and I moved to Wyoming, we started a new page. We used to get tons of snow in western Nebraska and we saw a few small pages in Wyoming, but the outreach wasn't huge; only a few counties like Natrona. So we opened it up to the entire state. We have tons of members who are willing to help people out of muddy or snowy situations; lots of bigger vehicles with recovery tools like straps and winches, as well as the know-how."
Most importantly, they have the desire to help their fellow man, Valentine said.
"The desire to start this was to help people out," he said. "At the time, there was a pretty big blizzard in 2018 that a lot of people got stranded in, and the police were unable to help out. So a few of us with vehicles that could handle the terrain went out to make sure people could get home, or to a safe place."
The group of people doesn't expect, nor accept, payments. Valentine said they're just happy for a 'Thank you' and a handshake.
"A lot of the people I have helped out are really cool and just need a hand," he said. "Honestly, it's really just the Wyoming Way. There's limited resources out here and I just want to make sure no one is stuck out in the cold."
Valentine said that, so far, the page has close to 1600 members; many of which are there to volunteer to help those who are stuck.
"Once a response and recovery has been made, we typically erase the post just to show no further response is needed," he said. "But the page is basically a big group of people who share the same passion to help; most of whom have never even met each other."
The Wyoming Way - it's an idea that is shared by many people who live in this state. Take a look around Facebook and you'll see countless posts featuring people offering to help each other out. On Tuesday, a Casper man offered to take medical workers to and from work if they needed. It's something that really makes Wyoming, and Casper specifically, stand out.
Valentine was quick to point out that Wyoming 4x4 Recovery, and its sister page, 'Wyoming Vehicle Recovery,' can not assist with medical emergencies, nor are they professionals. They're just men and women who want to help. Valentine shared a set of points to consider for those who are in need of assistance.
- First and foremost, if you are in danger or injured, call 911. If you are in a rental car, contact the rental car agency prior to contacting our group. We will still try to send someone to assist you if someone is available.
- Your location.
- Your contact information.
- What kind of vehicle you are in.
- Any hazards that volunteers should be aware of (if any).
- Someone responsible for the vehicle must be with the vehicle before any recovery efforts are made.
- We created this group as a for members to help the community in regards to non-medical vehicle recovery; no professional assistance is offered.
- The Wyoming Vehicle Recovery page exists for anyone who requires assistance with a vehicle that is stranded in an on-road or off-road situation at no cost.
"Don't be afraid to reach out," Valentine said. "We have people everywhere willing to help at no cost; we just want everyone to be able to make it back home to their families. Just post on the page your exact location (preferably with GPS coordinates), and what the situation is. For those who want to help, you don't need a fancy rig - only the know-how and the drive to do it. We have reach from Torrington to Thane, to Casper, and lots scattered in between. Anyone can join the page; it's a good resource to have if you ever get stuck. We're only a message away."