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NCFPD seeks Neighborhood Reinvestment grant for UTV

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The North County Fire Protection District will be pursuing a Neighborhood Reinvestment Program grant from the County of San Diego for a utility task vehicle.

A 5-0 NCFPD board vote Nov. 14 approved a draft grant application and a resolution for NCFPD staff to submit the application to the County of San Diego. The request is for $58,898, which is the estimated cost of the acquisition.

“The district has an interest to purchase a utility task vehicle,” said NCFPD Fire Chief Keith McReynolds.

“We’ve got a few trails. We’re seeing an uptick in the number of medical emergencies on the trails,” McReynolds said. “Having a UTV will assist us in some of those trail rescues.”

Each member of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has a discretionary Neighborhood Reinvestment Program budget. The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program is intended to provide grants to nonprofit organizations for the furtherance of public purposes at the regional and community levels.

In addition to nonprofit organizations, county supervisors can also fund schools and fire departments, and supervisors can also use money from their budgets to supplement other county funding for specific county projects such as parks, roads, and libraries.

Each county supervisor recommends the allocation of his or her Neighborhood Reinvestment Program funds, although those allocations must be approved by a majority of the board.

The NCFPD service area includes the Fallbrook Land Conservancy and the Wildlands Conservancy which have a combined 3,084 acres of land and more than 13 miles of maintained trails. Those trails are currently accessible only by foot. Monserate Mountain has more than 70,000 visitors annually and has an annual average of just under 10 trail rescues.

Rescue personnel must currently hike in carrying a Stokes basket rescue stretcher, place the patient on the stretcher, and hike out. A UTV will allow for greater access, extrication, and service delivery to trail areas and will also decrease firefighter injuries from transporting patients or traveling the terrain. The UTV would decrease response time and would also increase response capabilities in wildland incidents requiring evacuations and deployment of personnel.

A UTV would also allow for greater mutual aid participation. The Rancho Santa Fe, Oceanside, and San Marcos fire departments already have UTVs in their fleet.

The fire district has previously applied successfully for Neighborhood Reinvestment Program grants. A May 2022 Board of Supervisors action approved a $105,000 grant for a Pump Pod which supplies and recycles water used in apparatus pumping operations and allows NCFPD personnel to train within the district rather than requiring travel to training locations which would take units out of service. In April 2021, the county supervisors approved a $44,654 grant to the fire district for the replacement of two aging extrication tool sets.

The UTV would be purchased from All Terrain Vehicle Corporation, which is based in Lake Elsinore. The district would acquire a Prowler C4XM ERV which is a four-seat vehicle with a 976 cc Rotax V‑twin engine which generates 100 horsepower. The Prowler C4XM ERV has a payload capacity of 1500 pounds, 12 1/2 inches of suspension travel, and 13 inches of ground clearance at full payload.

The base price of the Prowler C4XM ERV is $42,000. The NCFPD vehicle would also have a 14-inch enclosed trailer with a drop-down ramp, a lighting kit with a siren and a public address system, a roof rack, a sport roof, an extra heavy duty clutch system and a heavy duty belt, an auxiliary battery kit, a stretcher mount, left and right side mirrors, and a rear view mirror.


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