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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Firefighting tools help expedite rescue

CHICO – The Chico Fire Department has acquired some new equipment in recent years that allow for rescue and more timely emergency response to fires.

On May 29, the fire department used its UTV-5 off-road utility vehicle to rescue a mountain biker who had fallen off the road; And the department used a drone with a live camera to monitor the rescue from afar.

Battalion Chief Wes Metroka said the equipment helps the department approach situations safely and can even improve response times in the case of their UTVs.

“It’s been very successful for us, because by that point we’d have to actually drive a firetruck down Upper Park Road and then park on a gravel road and wherever one might be. Now we’re going to cross the country with UTVs.” and can get really close, if not sooner, than anyone else – and that’s the whole goal.”

Metroca said the rescue was relatively quick as the mountain biker was loaded into medical transport within an hour of dispatch.

The fire department’s UTV-5 seats four people and is capable of traversing most terrain, including the rocky and sloping surfaces of Upper Bidwell Park. This Stokes Basket is equipped with a set of rescue equipment including a rescue litter that can be lowered into difficult terrain.

“We would drive that UTV vehicle up the North Rim Trail, and we could actually load a patient onto the Stokes basket on the vehicle and bring them back down,” Metroca said. “In other situations we may have to bring in a helicopter to take them out and fly them, which is even more dangerous.”

World Nation News Desk
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