Athens Fire Department takes it “Off-Road” with new vehicle

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Athens Fire Department's new ATV (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Athens firefighters rolled out a new piece of equipment Wednesday. It’s designed to go where firetrucks and ambulances cannot.

It’s a specially designed all terrain vehicle intended to be able to get help into areas where regular emergency vehicles cannot go. The ATV has it’s own water pump which is capable of powering two fire hoses.

“Right now we’ve got 70 gallons of water on it for fighting small brush fires up and down like I said the railroad or the trails or back off in fields where we can’t get a heavy vehicle,” says Athens Fire Chief Tony Kirk.

It’s also equipped to carry patients and has basic first aid supplies on-board. The fire department saw the need for this after the April 28th tornado when so many injured had to be walked or carried out of damaged areas to medical personnel who couldn’t get past downed trees and power lines.

“And it’s something that we’ve needed and we were glad to help get it,” St. Rep. Dan Williams told WHNT News 19.

The vehicle was purchased with TVA In-Lieu-of-Tax funds. Senator Bill Holtzclaw and Representative Williams each provided additional funds to help outfit the vehicle.