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West Valley City Journal

WVC Fire unveils new search and rescue trailer

Mar 26, 2019 02:57PM ● By Travis Barton

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

West Valley City Fire has a new beast. A 39-foot beast to be exact.

The fire department unveiled its new urban search and rescue trailer in March. Stationed outside city hall for both city officials and the public, onlookers could check out its multiple compartments filled with everything the fire team might need in an emergency.   

“It'll be really nice for us,” said West Valley City Fire Engineer Nick Herzog. 

The new 39-foot trailer will enhance the fire department’s service to residents, Herzog said, by having all necessary equipment in one place. Their previous heavy rescue truck was much smaller, so tools were scattered to different vehicles. It required lots of logistics, taking lots of time. 

“It's a lot more efficient to have everything right where we need it, when we need it,” Herzog said. 

With everything in one location, response times decrease. Herzog remembered two occasions when they had to wait for a different trailer with lumber. 

“It'll be a great benefit to our citizens just because everything is there,” he said. “Our response time is faster, it's more organized, so when we need to get something, we don't have to take 10 things out to get the one thing.” 

The trailer, which came from a Florida company called EVI (Emergency Vehicles Inc.), has equipment for different types of rescue including trench, ice, rope, confined space and structural collapse.  

The trailer cost about $500,000 and can be used as part of Utah Task Force 5, the group sent to emergencies like the wildfires in California. It will operate out of Station 74 (5545 W. 3100 South). 

On the same night the trailer was unveiled, city council considered an interlocal agreement with 25 other cities for its police department to offer mutual aid in a time of need. This trailer, Mayor Ron Bigelow noted, is another way for them provide assistance to neighboring jurisdictions, especially being one of the largest cities in the state. 

“We have a broad base, which allows us to help elsewhere as well,” he said, noting how the department’s firefighters have been called to fight fires in California and Utah County. 

 “It’s exciting to have it in our city,” Bigelow said.