The Hahn's Peak Fire Department in the North Routt Fire Protection District was chosen as one of 43 stations nationwide to receive a John Deere Trail Gator Utility Vehicle, donated by the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company.
The small vehicle will be useful in the mountainous region where accidents often happen, North Routt District Fire Chief Peter Baillie said.
"This gives us a lot of versatility," he said. The gator will be able to travel through narrow areas and rough terrain that would be difficult for an ambulance or fire truck to get through, he said.
"What a tool," Routt County Emergency Management Director Chuck Vale said. "We're the only one in Colorado that got one."
Baillie said about 600 other stations nationwide applied to receive the vehicle as well.
Vale said that after spotting an entry form to win the Gator in a magazine, district volunteer Marilyn Weber sent it in. Weber is responsible for writing many grants for the department, Baillie said.
"Everything that you can imagine, she's done," Vale said of Weber. He thought that the new, small station in Clark had a slim chance of winning the vehicle.
To his surprise, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco contacted the district recently to announce that it had won the Gator.
Tom Walsh from Tri-State Equipment Co. in Craig delivered the vehicle to the fire department Thursday.
"Environmentally, it's low impact," Baillie said of the small 6x4 vehicle. He said that it would become an integral part of the district's emergency response services.
"It can be down in areas that are less accessible with bigger equipment," he said. The Gator will be able to get closer to wildfires as well as recreational accidents that happen in the area. This will aid emergency crews in assessing scenes more quickly.
"It's pretty exciting," Baillie said.
The new fire station in Hahn's Peak is north of the intersection of County Roads 129 and 62. The building was dedicated May 17.
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