Numerous times during the wildfire season in Lincoln County, many groups from other states and areas assist in helping battle wildfires that might occur in the county.
County Emergency Management Director and Fire District Chief Rick Stever suggested at the meeting of the board of the fire district Tuesday in Pioche, “a rehab station needs to be developed.”
He explained that not only for wildfires, but for other emergencies, too, such as the bombing in Panaca last July,
“When we had all the extra mutual aid entities come in that day, a request was made for a rehab station. Someplace where they could go to cool off, it was hot that day in July. Firefighting or emergency response can sometimes be very draining and taxing on the body,” he said.
Rehab units can be specially outfitted first responder trucks that, besides providing rehydration, core temperature stabilization, food, restrooms and heated and cooled shelters, are also able to monitor firefighters’ vital signs and assess if a firefighter is healthy enough to go back into a fire, or whatever the emergency situation is.
Trucks may be equipped with warming blankets, cooling chairs, which surround a person with ice to cool the body temperature, food, electrolyte drinks, faucet and sink, toilets and water and seating, as well as carrying specialty items such as spare socks, fire gloves and hoodies for under helmets and an electric generator for night lighting.
Stever said Lincoln County does not have such a facility, “and when the request was made in July, Sheriff Lee had a search and rescue shelter that we used instead, got water for them and some chairs on which to sit down.”
He said, “As a fire district, I think this would be a valuable addition and could be used in a lot of different situations. I would like to get a specially made trailer for this.”
Stever said units he has priced ranged from $30,000 to $50,000. “I would like to get a good one that has heating and cooling capabilities for the different climates that we have.”
Lee said Iron and Washington Counties from Utah brought two such rehab units when they assisted in the search for the missing Moapa man, Charles Harper, in the Mt. Wilson area in early November. “The one from Washington County was a refurbished travel trailer with a generator. They could rotate their people through, feed them, let them rest and get ready to return to the search. We saw how effective it was. I would like to see us have one like this is for multi-use. I have thought about this for some time for use with our search and rescue teams.”
The fire district board requested Stever do more research on the matter and report back to them as soon as he can.