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ATV's in the fire service

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  • ATV's in the fire service

    I am working on a grant/gift proposal for an ATV, and am interested in any innovative ideas others have found for utilizing such vehicles either on the fireground, for brush fires, and for search and rescue as well as USAR, HAZMAT, and any other area where they can be used. This would be a 6 wheel polaris/ JD Gator type vehicle with the utility bed, not a 4 wheeler, so it can hual alot of cargo.

    I have a lot of ideas already, but the more I have the better it loks, and the more things we will have in mind if we actually get it.

    Ideas, real life experinces, and SOGs would all be appreciated!

  • #2
    Nothing beats a quad when you have a brush fire in tough terrain.It is great for carrying tools, hose, refreshment.etc, etc. Can't go wrong with getting a quad.


    • #3

      I have a Polaris Sportsman 500 4x4... havent had to use it for brush fires yet... but hopefully will sometime


      • #4
        Does your department allow the use of privatley owned ATV's? Our insurance will not cover damage to anyones ATV or any injuries that occur while using one, so for us it is prohibited.

        If they do allow it, does your insurance cover it?


        • #5
          There was an article featured in the members zone last month about utilizing ATV's in Haz Mat situations. It just so happened to be written by a very good friend of mine.


          • #6
            Fire the Lawyers.......

            For God's sake, FIRE THE LAWYERS. If someone is willing to use their own ATV to help out in a time of need, thank them and tell them what you need done. Telling someone "Go away, we're scared to death of liability" is just Flat Out Wrong. Now, back to square one. My daughter, who hunts and fishes with the best of them, has a Yamaha Big Bear 4x4 ATV. We have it available to help anytime it may be needed in our area. When she bought it, one of the first things to try out was the "Stokes Basket on the luggage rack" for transportation of victims or equipment. Works Well. Good news is that we've never used it in an emergency. Stay Safe....
            Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
            In memory of
            Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
            Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

            IACOJ Budget Analyst

            I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.



            • #7

              In Delaware we have a few ATV's in our area that are set up for a variety of situations. There are a few 6 wheelers that have stretcher and ems gear bags installed to work for rapid response to calls at special activities like our NASCAR races held twice a year in Dover, and while at our State fair.

              They are set up to carry a crew of 2 no more than 3. They have worked well at these events with rapid patient transfer to infield care centers and have saved time.

              There are a few units set up to handle firefighting capabilities and have 100-200 gallons of water along with wildland firefighter equipment on board and can transport a crew of 3

              Needless to say that this can save alot of walking and can allow a crew to access rough terrain and cut a fire off before it gets too far advanced.

              I hope this helps


              Be safe out there


              • #8
                Working in the mountains, ATV's are essential to our operations. We use a Honda Foreman 4x4 and a Polaris 6x6. We also have access to 6x6 Gator, but it is way to slow and underpowered. I understand it is available with a diesel that has almost double the power of the gasoline engine. If we bought another, I would definitely upgrade the engine. The only advantage to the Gator is it is steady as a rock, and you cannot tip it over. The payload is good, but again it slows it right down with any serious load in it.

                The Foreman is used to quickly locate lost hikers, and transport medical gear to backcountry injuries. You cannot carry a passenger on it however (at least not safely).

                The Polaris is great. Quick, lots of power, and goes absolutely anywhere. The box is a little smaller than the Gator, but it holds either a 50 gallon water tank or our 25hp portable pump with hose and accesssories. It also is used on occasion to remove injured hikers or bikers from the backcountry if we cannot get a truck in to them. The turning radius suffers with the extra axle, but it drives remarkably well.
                Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!



                • #9
                  One of the tobacco settlement deals has a program where John Deere Gators (6 wheel) are available for donation to fire dept/emergency service use. US Smokeless Tobacco Company Trail Gator Grant Program. Google for more info.

                  Gators are great (though can be expensive) vehicle. Well out of the typical ATV "toy" category and into the "workhorse" category. US Army 101AASLT and 82ABN use diesel 6x6 version widely for commo and med support. Have reportedly held up pretty well thru extreme GI use and abuse.


                  • #10
                    Members of my VFD have used their personal ATV's during the floods from Tropical Storms and Hurricanes to help tow boats to higher ground. Volunteers patrol events such as local fairs on their ATVs carring their First Responder Medical gear. Our members have used ATVs in searches for missing persons in the bayous and along the Mississippi River which boarders our district. During Parades the Chief and several members ride alongside parade vehicles on thier ATVs to assist with crowd control.
                    Included is a picture of our members lined up at the head of a local Mardi Gras parade.
                    St Gabriel, Louisiana
                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      Many years ago, I was stationed at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage AK. Way back then I was assigned to the AF Combat Control Team and we had around 10 Polaris ATV's. Well, to make a long story short, an AWACS aircraft crashed immediately after take-off and my unit was deployed as the 1st "SAR" asset at this incident. Had it not been for the ATV's, access to the crash site could have taken substantially longer as although it was only a couple of miles off the end of the runway, it was treacherous terrain. We found them invaluable. A couple of weeks ago, I was involved in yet another plane crash, this time a much smaller version with only a pilot aboard. The local county EMS agency deployed with one of the 6X6 "Gators" to reach the crash site. It is rigged primarily for EMS use with litter, trauma gear, etc. It sure saved the transport team a lot of hassle moving the patient. I think they're a great asset for a tremendous range of uses.
                      Brian Rowe
                      Colleton County Fire/Rescue


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