Firefighters can use the new UT13 to extract patients and fight fires in remote or rugged areas.

The Banks Fire District will now be better equipped to respond to incidents in difficult terrain, after receiving a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.COURTESY PHOTO: BANKS FIRE DISTRICT - The manager of the local Firehouse Subs cut the ribbon off the new apparatus at the ceremony on Monday, May 7.

The fire district received just under $29,000 from the foundation to be used for a new piece of equipment that will help with "transporting crews, transporting patients, and wildland fire firefighting in the roughest of conditions inaccessible to our other apparatus," according to a statement from the fire district.

On Monday, May 7, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the fire station in Banks to commemorate the new piece of equipment being ready for use, which the fire district purchased and has been personalizing for their needs, since initially receiving the grant in July of 2017, the statement said.

The new all-terrain utility vehicle, UT13, will help the district respond to fire and rescue services in the heavily rural and often tough terrain that surrounds the Banks area.

The new apparatus comes just weeks after Banks Fire responded to an incident in which a logger was struck by a falling tree while working at L.L. "Stub" Stewart Memorial State Park. Because of the isolated and rural location, and although he was not critically injured, the man was taken by air ambulance to Oregon Health & Science University Hospital rather than by ground, said Banks Fire District spokesman Mitch Ward.

This new piece of equipment will be able to better handle situations like these in the future, as Banks firefighters will now have the option of transportation by ground in a timely manner.

"The (new utility vehicle) is to get us into areas that our larger apparatus would not be able to get to," Ward said. "Most of the time, we have to hike a little ways to get patients and then carry them out. This will assist us a great deal in doing that."

The new vehicle has room for three firefighters and contains a water tank, fire pump, hose, medical equipment (including a Stokes basket for transporting patients) and other firefighting equipment that will address the specific needs of the Banks Fire District.

Following Monday's ceremony, the new vehicle has now been officially placed in service.

By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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