ROCKLAND - There were five snowmobile accidents in the Rockland, Mass-Greenland vicinity this winter and the Rockland Fire Department decided they needed to have the ability to help in the rescue efforts. The department had been considering a purchase of a 8 wheel Argo- Ambius ATV with a large track, but it was a rescue of snowmobilers in the Porkies that made the final decision.
While efforts were being made to rescue lost snowmobilers a few months ago, a sheriff department rescue pod became stuck in the deep snow. The Argo was able to get out in the snow to rescue the stuck deputies.
"That did it for us," Jerry Hoffman, Rockland Fire Chief said, and the department agreed to purchase the $30,000 unit which also includes a trailer. The new vehicle is dedicated to the memory of the late Joe Anderson of Rockland, who included a monetary gift to the department in his will.
Hoffman said the rescue vehicle will be available for all parts of the county. Carlo Pantti, member of the fire department and also an EMT, said the 16 members of the Rockland Fire Department will be trained on the new vehicle and has invited Sheriff Dale Rantala, other fire departments and State Police officers to become trained as well.
Hoffman said that the Argo can be used in snow and ice rescue and is especially valuable in rescues of people stranded on the ice or fallen through the ice. Rockland is centrally located to all parts of the county, Hoffman commented, and can go wherever it is needed.
"This is a great need in the county and will save lives," Hoffman said.