Welling­ton Fire De­part­ment wel­comes ATV res­cue trailer

Journal Pioneer - - FRONT PAGE - BY MILLICENT MCKAY

Welling­ton fire­fight­ers will be able to re­spond quicker and more ef­fi­ciently to calls that come in from the Is­land’s var­i­ous trail sys­tems and other re­mote lo­ca­tions. “As a fire de­part­ment we’ve al­ways had a lim­ited bud­get, so it’s been a mat­ter of pri­or­i­tiz­ing wants and needs. “Last year af­ter a mock res­cue ex­er­cise that we ran in part­ner­ship with the Evan­ge­line ATV Club, we no­ticed we didn’t have the equip­ment to res­cue some­one in a ru­ral area. Rather the res­cue would re­quire our mem­bers lug­ging a stretcher and then car­ry­ing them back,” ex­plained the fire de­part­ment’s pres­i­dent, Des­mond Arse­nault. On Tues­day the de­part­ment ac­cepted a res­cue trailer from the Evan­ge­line ATV Club that will al­low them to at­tend to calls on var­i­ous Is­land trails and ru­ral ar­eas. The trailer can be hitched to an ATV or a truck. The club fundraised and gar­nered sup­port from lo­cal busi­nesses to build the trailer. In re­cent years, the Is­land has seen the ATV sport grow in popularity. And with the grow­ing num­ber of riders, came the cre­ation of new ATV and side-by-side ve­hi­cle trails. “As first re­spon­ders, we want to be able to as­sist any­one. But if we can’t get to them, then we can’t help. “This will al­low us to re­spond in far­ther-reach­ing ar­eas.”

“It’s some­thing we’ve all talked about for about a year and a half. And al­though we haven’t had an ac­ci­dent that would re­quire this tool, I’m sure one of these days we might.” JP Gal­lant, pres­i­dent of the Evan­ge­line ATV Club

He added, “If there’s a time we get a call that needs the trailer, we’ll take it out with one of the trucks and meet some of the club’s ATV riders, if they are avail­able, and they’ll drive the trailer out and some of our crew to at­tend the scene.” Arse­nault says it’s a tool all Is­land fire de­part­ments should in­vest in. “Any­thing can hap­pen to any­one, any­where. And with­out an ap­pli­ance like this, it can be­come harder to at­tend to scenes. “What makes this even greater is that it’s been a real com­mu­nity col­lab­o­ra­tion to make this hap­pen.” JP Gal­lant, pres­i­dent of the Evan­ge­line ATV Club, agreed. “It’s some­thing we’ve all talked about for about a year and a half. And al­though we haven’t had an ac­ci­dent that would re­quire this tool, “I’m sure one of these days we might.” He ex­plained, “If some­one was cut­ting wood out on their lot or are out for a run and fell and broke an an­kle one kilo­me­tre from the road, the trailer will al­low fire­fight­ers or paramedics to help.” The trailer is the only one of its kind on the Is­land and was a cus­tom build. “It’s been tweaked for the per­fect de­sign. It’s high enough to clear any tree stumps and can hand rough and soft ter­rains. We worked with the fire de­part­ment as well as other ATV clubs in New Brunswick to help with the de­sign.” In 2017, the Evan­ge­line ATV Club sold 147 passes to ATV trails. Since Jan­uary 2018, they’ve sold 262. “Clearly the com­mu­nity of riders is grow­ing,” Gal­lant con­cluded.

MILLICENT MCKAY/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

JP Gal­lant, pres­i­dent of the Evan­ge­line ATV Club, right, presents the Welling­ton Fire De­part­ment with the new res­cue trailer.

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