With Help from El Pomar, CCSAR Purchases Another Tracked ATV

15 February, 2011

CCSAR needed an additional ATV, as a backup, to provide for evacuation of either ATV crew in the event of a mechanical breakdown or other event that would render the ATV immobile and distant from help. So last November we submitted a request for a grant to the El Pomar Foundation to purchase an in-line 2-seater tracked ATV. Late December 2010 El Pomar awarded the grant at 50% of our request. The CCSAR BOD decided to accept the grant and contributed the remainder of funds out of reserve funds plus the sale of 2 snowmobiles and trailer. The trade-off of snowmobiles for tracked ATV is a good one since the ATV can operate effectively in snow depths more than 2-3 times that of a snowmobile and has more capability for equipment transport.

Members of CCSAR's ATV Team happily pick up the new track vehicle purchased from Stanwood Mortorsports West in Silvercliff. (Photo courtesy of The Wet Mountain Tribune.)

In January 2011 we purchased an Arctic CAT 700cc TRV w/tracks from Stanwood West in Silvercliffe. It is narrower than the UTV which should enable it to operate in places that are prohibitive to the UTV. The UTV was very effective during the recent mission to recover subjects from the plane crash, but we found that it lacked a few key accessories when operating in very cold temperatures and deep snow. So this second purchase includes heated grips and an enclosure to keep the rescuers drier and warmer during winter missions.

We also purchased two 14 foot trailers required to transport the 2 ATVs. This has been an expensive year for CCSAR, in terms of capital purchases, but we expect this new equipment to improve our response times in delivering personnel and equipment to a rescue site. We also expect to perform welfare checks and help in evacuating valley residents that may become stranded during periods of bad weather.

CCSAR Gets A Tracked ATV and Rescue Trailer.

27 October, 2010:

In September 2009 we submitted a grant to the Regional Emergency Medical and Trauma Advisory Councils (RETAC), under the State’s Emergency Medical and Trauma Services (EMTS) department for two tracked ATV vehicles to augment our winter rescue capabilities. We were denied that grant. Undeterred, we again submitted a grant request to the same entity this February for a single tracked ATV and a rescue trailer to transport injured subjects and also requested 70% matching funds. That grant of $12,700 was awarded to CCSAR on 30 June, 2010. In July of this year Custer County awarded CCSAR $6000, from leftover conservation funds, to complete the purchase of the ATV and Trailer.

This Fall we purchased a 700cc Yamaha Rhino with tracks from Fremont Motorsports in Florence, CO. In addition, we bought an ATR-2 rescue trailer from All Terrain Res-Q in Cortland, NY.

John Natalie, Bud Bennett, and Bob Pruiksma take County Commissioner Jim Austin for a spin with the new equipment. Photo Courtesy of The Wet Mountain Tribune.

This equipment will greatly expand our winter rescue capabilities. The ATV will deliver two rescuers to the rescue site and be able to retrieve at least two subjects (one injured and one ambulatory). It will also carry rescue equipment and a litter to and from the site. It will perform in situations where a snowmobile would not be effective, such as heavily treed or rocky terrain. The tracked ATV will operate effectively in snow depths three times that which renders a snowmobile immobile. We will use this ATV year round; It will perform better than a wheeled ATV in muddy spring conditions – especially where there is deep snow and bare ground along the roads or trails.

The sheriff’s office is asking CCSAR to perform more welfare checks on residences in remote areas during extreme winter conditions. The sheriff expects our welfare check calls to increase by 50% now that we have this capability.

We will measure the success of these vehicles by the reduced time required to get responders and equipment to the subjects. In past years, a winter mission would require the “hasty” team to snowshoe through three feet of snow, with very heavy packs of equipment, for 3-4 miles on a road before going off road to get to the subject. This would require about 4 hours. We expect the response times to be closer to one hour when these vehicles are employed. The improved response time can mean life or death for the subject.