The Rimbey Fire Department has a new addition to the squad. The 6×6 Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) Polaris Ranger is set up for rescues, but deputy fire chief Bonnie Gundy hopes they never have to use it for that purpose.
Oct. 16 and17 were training days for 12 of Rimbey’s volunteer firefighters.
“I organized it through an instructor through Rocky (Mountain House) for us. That was to get our UTV on the road. We had to get some drivers for it.” Gundy said.
The town covered the cost of the training course.
Gundy thought the course went really well and is hoping to continue fundraising for some UTV extras.
“The UTV, right now, is set up for rescues,” Gundy said. “It has a rescue skid in the back which has a basket and an attendant seat on it so that we can take a couple ambulance (personnel), and a couple fireman out and pick people up and transport them to either a helipad or drive them out.”
By spring the fire department is hoping to have fundraised enough money to outfit the UTV for grass fires, and by then, hopefully have a trailer to transport it on.
For grass fires the UTV needs a tank of water, a hose and a pump but the fire department is looking at other options.
“We’ve been fundraising for two years. We’re still fundraising because we don’t have a trailer to put it on. We’re borrowing one,” Gundy said.
The fire department had been saving for two years to purchase it.
“It was all bought with fundraised money and donated money. The ambulance association bought the rescue skid in the back, and the fire department bought the actual UTV,” Gundy said.
The volunteer firefighters were excited to learn how to use the UTV and the training course certainly helped with that.
A main topic of the weekend was how to safely winch UTV or an ATV.
“We have it, we’re ready to go with it for rescues,” Gundy said. “Hopefully, we don’t ever have to use it for that.”