A new tool for disaster preparedness coming to our region

EVANS VALLEY, Ore.—A new tool for disaster preparedness is coming to our region!

Six Oregon fire districts across the state are receiving new high axle, all terrain vehicles from the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.  Evans Valley Fire District #6 is one of them.

OEM says these vehicles can access flooded areas, navigate rugged terrain, and can serve as brush fire rigs to fight small grass fires.

The vehicles are designed and manufactured locally in Bend by CORE (Commander Off-Road Equipment), a division of EarthCruiser.

“We’ve been working closely with Business Oregon to identify more local and regional companies, like EarthCruiser, that can serve as partners for procurement of the equipment,” said OEM Grants Coordinator Jim Jungling. “While it’s not always possible to buy local, we do prioritize it, both to support the economy and to save money on equipment delivery.”

Warrenton Police Chief Mathew Workman said the CORE Vehicle will be used to help his community in the case of a tsunami or earthquake.

“With any size tsunami, most of our city, including dozens of residential neighborhoods, will be inundated with water. This type of vehicle will allow us to perform rescue operations in those areas,” said Workman. “Similarly, during an earthquake, thousands of trees and utility poles will most likely topple and prevent standard-axle vehicles from traversing around town to perform rescue operations, whereas a high-axle vehicle would have a better chance of reaching the impacted areas.”

These vehicles are being granted through the State Preparedness and Incident Response Equipment (SPIRE) Grant Program.

Oregon House Bill 2687 established the SPIRE Grant program, which became effective in August 2017. A total of $5 million was made available in the grant’s first round, which awarded 81 pieces of equipment to 79 different awardees.

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