VAN WERT — The Van Wert Fire Department is getting good results from its purchase of a 2018 Polaris Ranger.
The ATV has been outfitted with anything they need to respond to a variety of calls.
“We purchased it mainly for specialized rescue,” said Jon Jones, Van Wert fire chief. “We have a lot of events we cover. We now take it to football games. Before, we used to take our ambulance. If we had a person injured on the field, that’s kind of big and heavy to take out on the field. So this is kind of nice. Now we can go out in the field, pick them up, and then when the ambulance comes they can transport.”
There are several scenarios where a smaller vehicle, like Rescue 10, could make a difference.
“We also do a lot of sporting events like cross country meets. We had a person go down on the backside of the reservoir a couple of years ago and we couldn’t get to them. We’ve had accidental shootings — people hunting back in the woods. It’s hard to get to them by foot. So we evaluated all that and we thought would be a good addition to our fleet to have something like this,” Jones said.
Jones estimated the cost to purchase the vehicle and equip it is around $30,000.
Using the vehicle to respond to emergencies is also possible, as it can reach speeds between 45 and 55 miles an hour.
It’s mostly used to test fire hydrants.
“We used to take an engine out or a regular pickup truck. This is kind of nice — we can get around town quick, park it out of the way, test our hydrants and still respond to emergencies if we need to. As we have it, we find more uses for it every day. I can’t say we use it every day, but we use it quite a bit through the summer for different details like that. This can come out in the winter, we have a snowplow here — it goes on the front and does double duty for we now do all the snow plowing for our ramp which we’ve always done, but we now do the backlot too for the whole city (parking lot),” Jones said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.