- Associated Press - Monday, June 12, 2017

LOGANSPORT, Ind. (AP) - As the warm weather’s been increasing, so too has the presence of the latest addition to the Logansport Fire Department’s fleet out on the city’s trails.

It’s the department’s all-terrain vehicle, with a supply of medical equipment and a size and agility that allows it to zip down local recreational pathways.

LFD Capt. B.J. Cox said the department got the ATV in early 2016. It’s been used to respond to at least one trail injury since then, he continued. With interest in trail safety growing ever since the killings of two teenage girls on a trail outside Delphi, Cox said firefighters have lately been taking the ATV out on regular trail patrols.

Cox said the LFD bought the ATV for about $29,000 from Alternative Support Apparatus, or ASAP, based in Midvale, Ohio. The company builds customized ATVs for first responder agencies.

The back of the LFD’s ATV holds a stretcher, oxygen and a backboard. Its cabinets are filled with an apparatus for water rescues, a fire extinguisher, rope, blankets, an extra drive belt, a defibrillator and other medical equipment.

The ATV has lights and sirens and can get up to about 45 mph, Cox said.

“It’s there so we can get to the people as fast as we can and when they’re in danger, get them out of there,” he said.

The vehicle can fit between the bollards at the ends of the city’s trails, allowing for quick access.

Cox said the ATV has been used to respond to an injured person on the Hervey Preserve’s trail on the city’s north side. The LFD had the ATV on hand at last year’s Carousel Festival in the Park and will continue to make it available at future festivals and outdoor events if requested, he said.

Annette Russell, who was out walking Huston Park’s trail on Friday afternoon, May 26, applauded the LFD’s investment in the ATV.

“I think anything you can do to improve safety will increase the utilization of the trails,” Russell said. “…It sounds like a great vehicle to have.”

As someone who hits local trails four to five times a week, she said she would want emergency personnel to be able to respond as quickly as possible if she ever needed them to.

Russell described fellow trail users as a diverse group of varying ages and states of physical health, including those who might be more prone to needing an emergency response.

“You kind of think, what would happen if we didn’t have something like that?” she said of the ATV.

Jeff Strite, who was cycling down Huston Park’s trail on May 26, said he tries to get out on trails three to four times a week.

Because people are often exerting themselves through physical exercise on local trails, there may come times when something goes wrong and triggers the need for an emergency response, Strite said.

“It’s got value,” he said of the ATV. “I think it’s a good idea, it makes sense.”


Source: (Logansport) Pharos-Tribune, https://bit.ly/2r9sIAe


Information from: Pharos-Tribune, https://www.pharostribune.com

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