Gila River Emergency Medical Services

TerraTor customer from Gila River, Arizona.  A story that could help other departments who wish to acquire the TerraTor brand fire and rescue rigs.

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How do we get to our community members when an ambulance or 4 wheel drive vehicle cannot gain access to them? We call Gila River EMS’ ARV 423. In 2009 Don Johns, a Gila River Emergency Medical Technician with Gila River EMS, a division of Gila River Healthcare Corporation applied for and was awarded a grant for an all-terrain emergency response vehicle.

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The Polaris Ranger 6×6 was acquired thru Operation Ranger Program operated by the US Smokeless tobacco program. They donate many of these all-terrain vehicles to various federal, state, local, and tribal agencies on a yearly basis. These agencies have to justify a need via a grant application process. Gila River EMS received this vehicle in the spring of 2009. In the FY 2012 funding was made possible to modify this vehicle for our specific needs.

Thru a cooperative internal and external process, modifications were made to this vehicle. Those include equipping it with emergency lights, a medical platform to support the patients that need our attention, heavy duty tires, and a modified electrical system to handle the increased electrical load.

ARV 423 was wrapped with Gila River EMS colors of red, white and blue, as well as the department’s logos to match the color scheme of its fleet.  This vehicle has been named “ARV 423”. That stands for adaptive response vehicle. It will be used anywhere an ambulance can’t go to EMSterLB 3get a patient, such as in the rainy times of the year, or in isolated parts of the community.  This vehicle can also be requested by any agency that needs our assistance in adjacent areas.

Even better, ARV 423 will be used as a public relations tool to bring paramedics and EMTs out of the ambulance and into the community events. So far ARV 423 has been in various community parades, fun runs, and 2 years at Mul Chu Tha.