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Belmont Fire Department gets new 4-wheeler

Belmont Fire Dept. public information officer Matthew Hodge ready for action in the new four-wheeler. Photo by Alan Hodge

By Alan Hodge

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Greenways, pathways, and biking trails  are becoming more and more popular in our area and now the Belmont Fire Department has a new piece of equipment designed to get into the farthest reaches of those areas in response to any type of emergency.

The new vehicle is an on and off road “four-wheeler” made by the Polaris company. The bright red and black, $20,000 machine arrived a few weeks ago and has already been in action.

“We used it on a medical call to the Thread Trail on S. New Hope Rd.,” said BFD division captain Craig Austin. “We also took it to a brush fire at the railroad tracks.”

The Polaris can go most anywhere. It’s powered by a 1,000cc engine, has big knobby tires, an automatic transmission, and of course, four wheel drive. The fully enclosed cab seats two firefighters side by side with a jump seat in the bed for a third passenger. The bed is also capable of holding a stretcher/rescue basket and medical supplies in a storage space. The outside of the machine has an array of LED lights and a siren. It carries a large fire extinguisher.

The four wheeler isn’t just about off road capability. It has plenty of pep and can be driven directly to a call on roads where the speed limit is 45mph or less.

“We can go anywhere in the city,” said Austin. 

Anther use Austin says the vehicle could come in hand for would be as a standby at outdoor events and concerts.

Overall, the Belmont Fire Department will make good use of their latest acquisition.

“It will have along service life,” Austin said.

In other Belmont Fire Department news, Austin is traveling to Nebraska to speak to representatives of the Smeal brand fire engine manufacturer concerning details on a new truck. 

Last May, BFD received a truck from Smeal. The $500,000 rig replaced a 1990 model that was “worn out”. The truck on order will take its place alongside the new one as an additional piece of equipment.