Continental Village, NY – New York State Sen. Pete Harckham visited the Continental Village Fire Department (CVFD) recently to inspect the new utility task vehicle (UTV) vehicle the department had purchased with state grant funding he had secured.
“It is important for our local fire departments to have emergency vehicles with off-road capacity to fight fires and undertake rescues in deep brush or wooded areas,” said Harckham. “That’s why I worked to help the Continental Village Fire Department acquire this new all-terrain vehicle with state funding that alleviates some of the tax burden on residents.”
Added Harckham, “It’s a powerful vehicle that can do a lot and will be a real asset to the community.”
The Continental Village Fire Department received its 2023 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 UTV at the beginning of June. The vehicle has seating for six people—two rows of two seats bolted next to each other, plus a cargo hold in back similar to a pickup truck. There is a roll bar or roll cage on top as well. The vehicle has heating for the cab, which will help in winter and inclement weather. The CVFD is still in the process of outfitting the vehicle.
Organized in 1950, the Continental Village Fire Department covers approximately 10 square miles and responds to about 300 calls a year, about 30% of which are vehicle accidents located on Route 6, the Bear Mountain Bridge Road or “goat trail,” that leads from Annsville Circle to the Bear Mountain Bridge. The department, whose apparatus includes an emergency boat, also responds to incidents on the Hudson River.
But a good deal of the emergencies that CVFD responds to are brush fires and lost or injured hikers and hunters. The response to these incidents requires rescue personnel carrying emergency or firefighting equipment in and out of woodland areas, including the 1900-acres of Camp Smith, part of the New York Division of Military Affairs Military Reserve, where training exercises will sometimes cause brush fires.
The new UTV will allow CVFD to respond to emergencies and incidents much faster than by foot, while also creating a safer working environment for all personnel.
“Our new all-terrain utility task vehicle (UTV) replaces an old existing all-wheel drive vehicle that we’ve been using for fighting brushfires, rescue operations and community events,” said CVFD President Richard Paupst. “This new UTV, slightly larger and more versatile than our old one, can carry four individuals instead of two to a fire, and also is able to carry an injured hiker in the back. We appreciate Senator Harckham’s support for our department and help in funding this new emergency vehicle, which will benefit the community in the years ahead.”
The awarded grant funding was secured as part of the State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM), which is among the grant programs overseen by the New York State Senate and administered by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) to support community and economic development. Harckham delivered more than $5,000,000 of state grant funding to municipalities and nonprofits in the 40th Senate District last year.