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  1. #1
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    Default ATVs: anybody tried this before?

    Hi,
    A guy in our VFD told me he had an idea to get a couple of 4-wheelers (and a trailer to haul them) for getting to some of our brush fires. He's very reluctant to bring it up at a board mtg, because of the cost, and I suppose b/c it's not the way it's always been done (you know that song, don't you?) but I think it's a good idea, there are Deer Club trails all thru the woods here in redneck country, but many places you can't fit a truck, so sometimes we just have to wait for a fire to get bigger & come to us. 4-wheelers could let us get to many fires in a much earlier stage. Has this been done before? Are there tanks available to fit the racks on an ATV? Is this a stupid idea?
    Any experience or thoughts on this subject will be appreciated, feel free to email me. Thanks for your thoughts on this matter.
    kk5af@hotmail.com


  2. #2
    Forum Member martinm's Avatar
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    My service used to run a 600cc Honda quad with a trailer capable of hauling about 1/4 ton of equipment over most terrain.We carried it on a car trailer with a 4x4 pickup towing vehicle. It was a very handy vehicle to have and was used quite extensively on our moorland fires. Unfortunately when it came to renew it, the powers that be decided that they would spen the cash on somthing else. I would say that if you feel there is a need for one, cost it out and see if you can get a demo one from a dealer and prove what it can do.
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber ramseycl's Avatar
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    I have seen 4wheelers used on brush fires, they can be useful but are limited in what they can do.
    One comment in your post concerns me, you said that some of the trails aren't big enough for trucks to so you wait for the fire to get bigger and come to you. Why can't you hike in and dig some line? I wouldn't want to risk something getting bigger just because I couldn't drive to it, you don't have to have water to handle a wildland fire. Last summer we couldn't drive with in a mile of 75% of the fires we handled, so we hike in and take care of it while its small. Just my thoughts.

  4. #4
    Forum Member SPIPER's Avatar
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    Get a dozer.
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  5. #5
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    Default 4 wheelers are a great idea

    In the area where i grew up (northwestern Mn) there is a lot of grass land and quite a few tree and swamps. There are just simply some areas where you are not able to get with out 4 wheelers. It doesn't matter where the fire is at you are able to get at it with 4 wheelers. A lot of Dept. in my area are even putting tracks on them. We started with only on 4 wheeler and we going to be buying our second one this summer they are the way to go. As far as it being a 4 wheeler i wouldn't go that route i would go with a 6x6 or a least a 4x4 with a box that way you have space to put a tank and a small pump on a skid unit. I would just go and buy a small poly tank that farmers use for chemical 50 gallons is enough for a grass fire.

    Best of luck on your decisions

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Default Re: ATVs: anybody tried this before?

    Originally posted by Hammer12
    there are Deer Club trails all thru the woods here in redneck country,
    If you can't sell them on the firefighting angle, what about medical emergencies? Any of those hunters ever get hurt out there in the woods? Set up with a litter carrier it would make it much easier to pack a patient out of the woods or other remote location if you can't get an ambulance to them. Just another angle to try to sell the project.

    www.ussmokelesstobacco.com has a grant program where they give away about 70 Ranger ATV's every year to fire departments, sheriff's offices, and what not. You may be able to apply for one next year and get it for free...they can't complain about the cost that way. (I was supposed to apply for one this year but I let the deadline sneak up on me and I missed it )

    Failing that, you still may be able to seek out some other forms of grants or donations to fund this project. Any big businesses in your area that might be looking for a tax deduction? How about approaching some of your local politicians and see if any Rural Federal Development Grant money is available? We got $17,000 for bunker gear last year through that program.

    If you do decide to pursue this project, make sure you do your homework. Be able to prove to the Board or to any potential donors why this project is important, what it's going to cost, etc. Also if you get donations for it make sure that there is plenty of free publicity for the donors...that's what motivates them to give to the community.

    Do you have Wal Mart in your district (who doesn't these days?) Try them out, they have a program for giving donations to local charities and non-profits....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  7. #7
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    Our department used to have 4wheelers and wave runners for water rescue. But the 4wheelers used to work great, but the problem is we have what is called a Greenway, used for hikers and horses, no motorized vehicles are allowed in these areas what-so-ever... Same with my fire station, we are in the National Forest, so there is alot of places out here where we are not allowed to drive because of the same thing, no motorized vehicles. So either we gotta hike in the woods and fight with rakes and shovels or wait for it to come to us. It takes an act of congress for us to be allowed to drive in the restricted areas of the National Forest. I find that just going in there with rakes and shovels is the easiest thing to do. Also look at leaf blowers too.

  8. #8
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    Are you saying that even during a brush fire, you're not allowed to use motorized equipment? I can't imagine the powers to be letting a fire grow and"come to you" to avoid some ATV tracks.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Sure....let's let a couple hundred acres burn till the fire gets to us instead of risking a couple of shallow ruts on the landscape.... Frickin liberals......
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  10. #10
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    Default ATV use

    Hammer,
    Chesapeake Va, firefighter here, We use a 8x8 ARGO Conquest ( donated from Stormwater Mngmnt. within the city)for woods/grass fires. I have taken on the project personally, and enlightned a few of the old timers to a new way of fighting the nastiest most fatiquing work around. It carries 50 gals water in a Ag. Type tank,w/5.5 hp water pump capable of drafting w/1.5" intake and it carries 400' of 3/4" forestry hose and can pump w/same pressure as it does w/ a 15' section kept on it most times for quik attack. Outfitted with chain saw, winch, lights, can haul 4 personnel or 2 w/tank in. Useful for SAR as well, with the tank out can put a stokes basket with pt. on it. Also have 400' feet of 1.5" forestry hose and 400' of 1 inch forstry hose, available to use in conjuction w/ Brush Trucks. Towed on a trailer to scene, with BT. Was easy to convince Admin. that is would be worthwhile investing in hoses, pump, trailer, and misc. gear for it, since it was a value of $20,000.00 for free.
    I also work in conjunction with Va. Dept. of Forestry and they have extensive use of ATV's for getting in the tight places, they un light water in the 25 gal. tanks mounted on back rack with small electic pump off battery of ATV for quik attacks, and about a 10 foot hose, (think tree sprayer for small orchard) perfect for them. Good luck, it will be worth the effort, I was 2 yrs. in fulfilling my goals.

  11. #11
    Forum Member PattyV's Avatar
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    Why do liberals have such a bad name in America? Our government in currently the liberal/nationals coalition and its probably the best one we have ever had! It tends to give firefighters a lot more power then before! But yeah, we have the problem with our fire trails where i live in that we currently only have one official one. The old ones were not zoned properly and are now located on private property! We generally try to do a flank attack on the fire and head it off when its still small, otherwise we have to wait at the top of the plateau and wait for the bushfire to come to us. (problem being that we dont have reticulated water)
    We tend to stick with the medium attack appliances because we can send them offroad, but most our backburning is done from roads.

    (i personally wouldnt mind having a quad or a dirt bike with some firefighting equipment on the back to head off the fires and put them out before they escalate)

  12. #12
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    Cool

    Thanks, guys. Wow, I was ignorant before; thinking this might be a new idea. Yes, we have a Wal-Mart, we're a small town in Arkansas! We also have a guy who's very good at writing grant requests, so I can see some possibilities opening up, thanks to you gentlemen's input. Ramseycl, we do hike in with rakes, I didn't explain that very well. There's just one fire that I remember where I think we could have been MUCH more aggressive, since my house was in the path of the fire.

    Hmm, there's a big sporting goods store/Honda dealer here who might like some publicity too. Gotta go, lots of things to check into! Thanks very much, bros.

  13. #13
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Here, Too.......................

    Our Fire Agency here in Maryland will be getting an ATV and a Trailer to haul it on, if current plans continue. I'll probably be involved in building it up for Firefighting, I'll let everyone know how it turns out.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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  14. #14
    Forum Member Pierce151's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SPIPER
    Get a dozer.

  15. #15
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    The ultimate forestry tool. Top drive, and looks like air conditioning too.

  16. #16
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  17. #17
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    lol...yea they would be kinda fast...but might flip.

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