Nichols VFD creates agricultural and tactical rescue trailer

Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlberthttps://discovermuscatine.com
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

NICHOLS, Iowa–Despite their smaller sizes, volunteer fire departments often respond to fires and emergencies just as complicated as those faced by larger departments. After years of fundraising and careful planning, the Nichols Volunteer Fire Department assembled their agricultural and tactical rescue trailer, allowing them to respond to more challenging calls.

When the Nichols Volunteer Fire Department receives calls where typical fire fighting equipment and vehicles will not fit, they will bring the agricultural and tactical rescue trailer to the scene. Inside the trailer, the department has stocked a variety of supplies, including an auger, cribbing, grain bin rescue tube, harnesses, and rope. Together, these tools allow members of the department to rescue people from difficult to reach places and to prevent them from drowning in grain bins, a very dangerous situation in which minutes matter.

All together, it cost $2,800 to purchase the trailer and all the supplies that went into it. Over the past several years, the department has done a lot of fundraising to make the agricultural and tactical rescue trailer possible. Nichols Volunteer Fire Department Chief JJ Hudson shared: “The way these funds were raised was mainly word of mouth. Jerry Elder, one of our members, really got the ball rolling on going around and asking for donations and getting the word out there that we were looking at purchasing a trailer for this equipment, and after that all the members really chipped in on getting donations put together. It was an all around team effort, and it has paid off for our department.”

The inside of the Nichols Volunteer Fire Department’s agricultural and tactical rescue trailer. Photo courtesy the Nichols Volunteer Fire Department.

With the trailer assembled, the Nichols Volunteer Fire Department can now provide more effective responses to some of the most challenging sorts of emergencies they find themselves faced with particularly falls into grain bins. “The grain rescue kit that we have in the trailer was also donated to us by Farm Credit Services years ago, but until we were able to obtain this trailer, our ways of transporting all of the gear was very limited, and couldn’t be done in a timely manner if needed in an emergency,” Hudson shared.

Hudson feels very pleased to finally have the trailer put together and more capacity to help the people in the area the Nichols Volunteer Fire Department serves. “This trailer is definitely as asset to our department, but more of an asset to our community and rural community,” he stated. “The benefits of having equipment like this is extraordinary, and to be able to provide a service that were really have never been able to really makes myself and all of our members really proud that we can now provide this service to our community and rural community.”

In the near future, Hudson hopes to add more carabiners, harnesses, and life safety rope to the trailer. In the future, the department would like to explore adding trench rescue equipment to the trailer as well.

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