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Fire District granted off-road emergency response vehicle posted on 02/01/2022

Hoodland Fire District (HFD) received a new high-axle emergency response vehicle on Jan. 24 that will certainly turn heads on the mountain due to a combination of unique appearance and off-road performance ability.

 

“It’s a different looking type of vehicle than people are used to seeing at the station,” HFD Division Chief/Fire Marshall Scott Kline said.

The high-axle rescue vehicle is made by Earthcruiser, a boutique RV company from Bend that typically produces approximately 30 custom overland vehicles each year. The model HFD received is a CORE V8, cab-over-chassis base model design that is a separate division of the company.

The vehicle was selected for the district by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) as part of a grant program intended to increase emergency response preparedness across the state.

HFD was awarded the vehicle for use in response to flooding or high-water events that require evacuating and transporting civilians to safety. The vehicle is multi-use and will also be used to assist with wildland fires.

“CORE applications include wilderness firefighting, Homeland Security, medical response, equipment delivery, mobile laboratories, DIY overland vehicle builders, and more,” according to the Earthcruiser website.

The district has ordered a custom slip-on fire unit that can be loaded and unloaded from the chassis with a forklift. The fire unit will be a combination of a water tank, pump and hose reel. The skid can be unbolted and traded out with seating on the vehicle in minutes, depending on which application is required.

“The idea is to augment our brush vehicles or to have an additional one as needed,” Kline said. HFD applied to receive a high-axle rescue vehicle through the OEM’s State Preparedness and Incident Response Equipment (SPIRE) grant in 2019 and received approval in 2020.

The SPIRE grant was established by Oregon State House Bill 2687 and funded $5 million of emergency response equipment across the state. The grant included an equipment list of eligible items with priority given to items that are intended to save/sustain lives.

Approximately six of the CORE vehicles were awarded to fire districts across the state through the grant.

The CORE chassis typically costs just over $100,000 for the base model according to the Earthcruiser website.

“Due to the grant the vehicle didn’t come out of fire district money,” Kline said.

For more information contact HFD by email at hoodland@hoodlandfire.org.

By Ben Simpson/MT

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