The Garden City Park Fire Department just got a fresh set of wheels.
Last week, the department received an emergency medical all-terrain-vehicle using about $30,000 in funding from a Nassau County grant.
The vehicle, which looks like a cross between a typical four-wheeler and a pickup truck, would be used at large public events, such as sports games, concerts and carnivals, said Rob Mirabile, the chief of the Garden City Park Fire Department.
“In the last four or five years, we’ve seen an increase those events,” Mirabile said. “We could use this vehicle to negotiate through the crowds or the terrain to meet a patient, to stabilize a patient and bring the patient back to the waiting ambulance.”
Prior to purchasing the vehicle, the department borrowed ATVs from Glen Clove EMS and the Soyosset Fire Department, Mirabile said.
He added that the Garden City Park Fire Department borrowed Glen Cove EMS’ ATV four or five times last year and “used it several times at events at (Michael J.)Tully Park.”
“Instead of constantly borrowing, we applied for the grants so we could get our own,” Mirabile said.
The department, he said, worked with Nassau County Legislator Ellen Birnbaum who helped it secure funding as a Community Revitalization Project.
“It would not be possible for us to have a vehicle like this if it were not for the county CRP program and Legislator Birnbaum,” Mirabile said.
The funding request was unanimously approved by the county Legislature in October, Birnbaum’s office said.
Birnbaum said in a statement that “with the acquisition of this special vehicle, the Garden City Park Fire District will be able to provide the highest level of safety for the public.”
Maribile said the department will now decide what equipment to put on the vehicle and train EMS paramedics and vehicle operators to use the vehicle safely and effectively.
The department has an EMS team of about 30 people, he said.
At large events, the department would bring the ATV and an ambulance on standby, Mirable said. The ATV would then be used “to meet a patient, to treat a patient, stabilize a patient and bring the patient back to the waiting ambulance,” Mirabile said.
He said the model the fire department purchased could accommodate patients who are sitting or lying flat and includes a closed cab.
“It’s almost like a mini vehicle rather than an open ATV,” Mirabile said. “They’ve really come a long way in the last five to 10 years.”
All of the firefighters from the Garden City Park Fire Department are volunteers and the department covers Garden City Park, unincorporated parts of New Hyde Park, Herricks, Manhasset Hills, part of North Hills, a section of unincorporated Williston Park and Mineola High School, Mirabile said.