All-terrain CORE vehicle, funded through SPIRE grant, to better access remote areas of Mount Hood

COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT - Hoodland Fire District #7 was awarded a CORE emergency vehicle through a statewide grant. A local fire district tasked with protecting Mount Hood was awarded a new all-terrain vehicle to better assist the community during disasters.

Hoodland Fire District #7 was one of six fire districts across Oregon to receive a new high-axle vehicle through the State Preparedness and Incident Response Equipment (SPIRE) Grant, which funds the purchase and distribution of equipment to be used to decrease the loss of life and mitigate property damage.

The road-legal vehicles can access flooded areas, navigate rugged terrain and perform water rescues. They can also serve as brush rigs to fight small grass fires and other types of outdoor blazes. They were designed and manufactured locally in Bend by CORE, a division of EarthCruiser.

"While it's not always possible to buy local, we do prioritize it, both to support the economy and to save money on equipment delivery," said Jim Jungling, grants coordinator for the Office of Emergency Management.

The others that received a CORE vehicle were the Aurora Fire District, Cannon Beach Fire District, Eugene Springfield Fire, Evans Valley Fire District #6 and Warrenton Fire Dept.

Oregon House Bill 2687 established the SPIRE grant program in 2017, and the first round of funding had a total of $5 million award 81 pieces of equipment. In addition to vehicles, other equipment has included generators, fuel tankers, big-water rescue boats, low-water rescue boats, rescue jet skis and more.

The Oregon Legislature will have $10 million of SPIRE grant money available in 2022-2023, with the next round opening in March.

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