The Fayetteville City Council approved giving the fire department $45,276 to purchase two ATVs. The purpose is to make the city’s popular trail system safer.
“It’s a mini-fire truck. It’s exactly what it is. We’ll have lights and sirens on it,” Fire Chief David Dayringer said.
Each ATV has an 85-gallon water tank, water pump, a stretcher and fits three firefighters.
City leaders estimate around 500 people use the trails daily during the week and double that amount during the weekend.
Dayringer said an ATV could make the difference between life and death.
“There’s is no good way for us to get to them quickly and get them out quickly, and so we’ll use these around 60 times a year,” Dayringer said.
The ATVs will also be used to fight fires on the trails.
“This gives us a unit that we can get on the brush fires quickly before they get from the trails into a neighborhood,” Dayringer said.
Dayringer said city leaders estimate that by 2015, there will be more than 30 miles of trails.
“We’re talking about hooking up the trail up to Bentonville. So we will be ready with our trail response vehicles for them,” Dayringer said.
The trail response ATVs can also pull rescue boats to get to remote locations and move through large events and crowds in case of an emergency.
The money comes from tax payer dollars set aside for the city’s capital improvement fund.
The fire department hopes the new fleet will arrive by the end of October.