Barton County may seem a lot tamer than the wilderness areas of the Rocky Mountains, but it still has recreation areas where people can get hurt and where it can be difficult for emergency personnel to reach, and that is why Great Bend city departments are seeking grant help to purchase equipment that will help in those instances.
This week the Great Bend City Council approved the application for two grants that would help fund an all terrain vehicle for use in the city’s flood control section and along the Arkansas River bottom.
The Great Bend Fire Department and Great Bend Police Department would share the Emergency Utility Vehicle, which would be a specially equipped ATV, built on a Polaris Ranger frame and equipped with a variety of emergency equipment.
It would include equipment for brush fire fighting, for stretcher carrying, special lighting features, portable radio holders, and more.
The city would purchase the vehicle and equipment from Kimtek Corporation, out of Westmore, Vt., because it has all of the specialty equipment that would be needed, the council was told.
The package will cost about $30,000 and that is broken into thirds, with the city providing a $10,000 match and with the rest coming from a Polaris TRAILS grant and from a USDA Emergency Responders Grant.
Monday, the council approved moving ahead with the plan and having the city apply for the grants.
According to information from the city, the equipment would:
• Provide emergency personnel access to river trails.
• Provide a way to reach areas on those trails that current emergency equipment cannot reach.
• Provide a quicker way to rescue injured people from that recreation area.
• Promote law enforcement in the recreation area.
• Assure ATV users that they will have emergency response if it is needed.
• Allow access to the area for fire suppression when needed.
• Eliminate one reason the city has denied access to the levee area.
And it was noted that the equipment will help to increase visitation to the recreation area, because it will be more attractive to visitors, if they know there will be emergency help if it is needed.