Tourists frequently visit Seaside, Ore., due to its oceanfront location just 80 miles from Portland. The city’s fire and rescue department, which was created in 1904, is a nearly all-volunteer operation that stays quite active.

The diverse coastal and wooded terrain of Seaside can be especially challenging as fire and rescue volunteers patrol and respond to emergencies on the beach, unmaintained trails, parks and downtown. So in 2015, Seaside Fire & Rescue reached out directly to Polaris and purchased a Polaris RANGER 6x6 utility vehicle to complement their existing fleet of lifeguard and rescue vehicles.

"We decided to purchase direct from Polaris because they make the process smooth and easy," says David Rankin, division chief of operations for Seaside Fire & Rescue. "We told the government sales group what we needed our vehicle to do and they completed the order and upfit to our exact specifications."

The utility vehicle has seating for two. It is equipped with two radios and a rear extended rack to hold a variety of rescue equipment, including marine rescue cans, a surf rescue board and essential medical gear. The extended bed not only allows injured patients to be transported on a full-size spine board, it also allows the firefighters to
transport firefighting equipment when needed.

"The seamless procurement process allowed us to put it to work immediately. In its first week of being in service, we used our RANGER to access a remote area to assist a neighboring fire department with a house fire on a lake that did not have traditional access," Rankin says. "We were able to cut our way into the original access road used to build the house. This allowed the larger trucks to come down and fight the fire."

The quick response enabled saving more of the house and prevented the surrounding forest from catching fire.

"We keep finding new uses for our RANGER — we also use it on the beach. It has been used to transport injured people to the waiting ambulances," Rankin adds. "It's been so capable and useful that we're planning to purchase additional RANGERS as replacements for our older lifeguard trucks."

Polaris Government & Defense sales team member Tony Stanley hears similar feedback from customers. "Once a crew buys one RANGER, we often have follow-on orders for several more. As their truck fleets age, they buy RANGERs instead because they are lighter, more maneuverable, versatile and easier to use. Plus they are easier and cheaper to maintain."

Seaside hosts several community events and uses the RANGER to help with each one, including festivals, races and parades. "In the city during our busy weekends, it has worked nicely to get around when our other rigs were tied up in traffic," Rankin says.

The vehicles may soon get a workout during snow season. "We're looking at collaborating with our public works department by adding the Glacier Pro Plow system to use these RANGERS in the winter, since it is much more cost-effective than a regular vehicle," Rankin says. By making any additional accessories purchases directly through Polaris government sales, Seaside Fire & Rescue will receive the same discount and free, direct shipping as they did with the original vehicle purchase.

Go here for more information on Polaris Government & Defense.

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