By Jonathan Williams
Times West Virginian
Imagine, for a moment, that you were involved in an ATV accident in a remote location in Marion County.
The ambulance is called. The Marion County Rescue Squad arrives on scene. The responders walk into the woods to find you and have decided you need medical attention.
Unfortunately, your average ambulance isn’t equipped to drive through the forest to reach you. In the old days, they’d have to transport you back to the ambulance on the back of a borrowed ATV, in the flatbed of a pickup truck or on a stretcher.
Today, with the help of a new all-terrain ambulance, the rescue squad can bring “a miniature ER (emergency room)” right to the scene.
“We’ve had calls where patients are up in a wooded area where a normal ambulance couldn’t get to,” said Michael Angelucci, Marion County Rescue Squad administrator. “Having this type of vehicle allows the patient to be transported out in a climate-controlled, enclosed mini-style ambulance that basically protects them.”
The ASAP, as it’s officially known, is basically a slightly smaller ambulance on a modified 6-wheel ATV chassis. Angelucci said there are currently only two other vehicles like this in use in the state of West Virginia.
“We started looking at the different operational areas in which we could improve,” he said. “We saw that we had several incidents of in-the-field or in-the-woods rescues. We found that by purchasing this type of vehicle, we were assuring that transport out of those limited-access areas provided the patient with the highest level of safety.”