The Grand Junction Fire Department has a new tool that should help make some back–country rescues faster and easier.
Thanks to the efforts of All–Terrain Power Sports the Department received two brand–new four–wheel–drive ATV's through a Yamaha Motor Company program that loans equipment to fire and rescue companies. The vehicles can carry two firefighters as well as a rescue litter, making access to rough back–country areas faster than may be possible by ambulance or foot.
Firefighter Rick McKissen says although Mesa County Search and Rescue also has the vehicles it's sometimes takes time to round up the volunteer squad for a quick rescue. He says it's hoped that arrangements can be made with the National Park Service to use the ATV's to access rough areas of the Colorado National Monument when the need for speed is crucial.
The Department also was able to buy at–cost a trailer to haul the two ATV's courtesy of Humphries R–V, enabling the department to improve service to the Grand Valley at little cost to taxpayers. The ATV's should go on–line after training is finished Saturday afternoon.