Latest addition to firefighting fleet gets into tight spots

Warman Fire Rescue’s newest emergency response vehicle is a 2018 Polaris four-wheel-drive ATV that will be used to fight wildland fires, and can also be used to transport injured persons

The newest vehicle in the Warman Fire Rescue fleet is small but mighty.
A four-passenger side-by-side all-terrain vehicle (ATV), equipped with a 65-gallon tank and pump foam system, will be invaluable when it comes to fighting wildland fires, according to Warman Fire Chief Russ Austin.
“This has the same basic firefighting capability as a half-ton mounted unit, but is only about 20 per cent of the weight,” said Austin. “We should be able to take this into soft and muddy conditions where we can’t take our regular full-size vehicle, and do what we need to do.
“It’s a quick-attack unit. The idea is to knock the fire down before it gets too big or too far away.”
Austin said an ATV-style firefighting vehicle fills a gap in the area.
“It will be able to go out to all our mutual aid partners including Dalmeny, Langham, Martensville and Osler,” he said. “Some areas, like where you have bush around a slough, are very inaccessible. And in terrain like that, the fire goes over top of all the dry stuff and by the time it gets to the other end where we can get at it the fire is so huge it’s difficult to get a handle on it.
“With something like this we can get into those areas and knock it down a lot quicker.”
Austin said the fire department members paid the cost of the unit through fundraising events, including a dine and dance gala.
“What you see here is about a year’s worth of work to get it to where we are now,” he said.
The vehicle is a 1000-cc, four-wheel-drive, 2018 Polaris Ranger. The firefighting skid on the back can be quickly taken off and replaced with another attachment that allows for transport of an injured person.
“If we have to go into the river hills or if there’s a snowmobile or ATV accident out in the middle of nowhere we can get to the injured person quickly,” said Austin. “We’ve had situations where we’ve had to walk several kilometers just to get into an area. Then we still have to carry the person out again. This will allow us to get in and out quickly.”
The vehicle was put into service in early May.