County approves purchase of specialized emergency vehicles

Two emergency rescue vehicles for the Lincoln County Emergency Preparedness Program have been authorized by the board of county commissioners.

County Emergency Management Director Rick Stever made the request for such equipment during a meeting of the commission meeting in May. The first vehicle is a UTV that will primarily be used when there is snow too deep for the ambulance or even some private ATV vehicles to get through.

Stever said he has been researching various manufacturers’ styles and pricing information of new vehicles to purchase and the board decided on going with a side-by-side UTV that can be equipped with tracks so it will go in the snow. “I can also adapt it to where we can get medical equipment on board. Some are equipped with front and back seats.”

Stever said he had the option of a SnowCat, a UTV, pickup, or snowmobile, but the board decided they wanted to go with the UTV. “We’ll get some of our people trained on how to drive it, it’s not too difficult. And, it’s not going to be speedy, just able to get us there and back.”

He said it will be good for the county to have such a vehicle because, “In some areas the amounts of snow we have this past year, the ambulances could not get into some residential areas and the residents there were very concerned if something happened there, how would they get out?”

The other vehicle is a medical rehabilitation trailer. “We are going to purchase a trailer that will be set up to respond to emergency scenes where firefighters, search for and rescue people, anybody involved in the actual incident in any weather, will have a place to go to and either cool off or warm up, whichever is necessary.”

The 8-by-20-foot trailer will be equipped with chairs and seats on which to rest, a bed or two, water and bathroom facilities, even a shower, with medical supplies and personnel on hand to monitor the condition of those who come.

Stever said he thought the rehabilitation trailer would be in the neighborhood of $48,000 to $50,000, and hoped to have it delivered in the fall.

The need for the trailer, Stever said, stems from the bombing incident in Panaca last summer. “All the outside people who came in to help asked if we had one, and we didn’t.”

Also, last fall, when Search and Rescue was looking for a missing man from Moapa in the area around Mt. Wilson, the Utah units who came to help had one. “We certainly saw the value of it at that time,” Stever said. “Both of these pieces of equipment are going to be a pretty big asset that we don’t have now.”

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