ATV purchase still on hold

By Racey Burden | Published Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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Wise County commissioners Monday put the purchase of an all-terrain vehicle for Wise County EMS on hold yet again.

In April, commissioners approved the purchase of two ATVs for medics to use while working races at Boyd Raceway, River Valley in Boyd, Oak Hill near Alvord and the Askey Ranch, just outside Decatur. When questions were raised about the liability of off-duty personnel using county equipment on private property, commissioners decided to revisit the matter.

EMS Administrator Charles Dillard told commissioners Monday that medics will no longer work private events unless they’re off duty and not using county equipment. On-duty medics can still respond to private events if they’re called for an emergency.

Dillard amended his request to ask for just one ATV for emergencies. Precinct 1 Commissioner Danny White asked why Dillard wanted a new ATV when the department already has one.

“The one we have is about nine years old, and it’s a lot rougher riding,” Dillard said. “The newer units, the suspension is so much better on them than it was nine years ago. We’re looking at definitely trying to get something that’s better for the patient.”

Commissioners also asked about Dillard’s request to purchase a new trailer. Dillard said he’d like a wider, 14-foot trailer.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Gaylord Kennedy said he’d asked one of the firefighters in the county whether an ATV would help, and the firefighter told Kennedy that he fell into a ravine once and had to be carried out two miles on a stretcher, a trip that would have been made easier with an ATV.

“I think if one of them saves one life, this one unit for the trailer and everything, is worth every penny,” Kennedy said. “I think the new equipment is much better than the old.”

The trailer, sliding unit and the ATV is expected to cost $22,500.

The court told Dillard to find out how much could be made trading in the department’s old ATV before they approve the purchase of a new one.

Clark has said the county will likely approve the purchase of one ATV for use in remote areas of the county.

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