Ridgeway Rescue Squad uses Gator to get to patients during snowstorm

Snowstorm was first time rescue squad used the Gator in snow

By Colter Anstaett - Reporter

HENRY COUNTY, Va. - Pictures from the Ridgeway Rescue Squad show squad members using their Gator to get to people in places where an ambulance couldn't go.

Scanner communication from Broadcastify between first responders and dispatchers reveals the difficulty first responders faced during the snowstorm.

"Can you contact VDOT and see if they have a truck close to Mt. Olive that they can assist us here into Bradford Ct.," a first responders asks a dispatcher. 

Ridgeway Rescue Squad Capt. Travis Pruitt said the Gator was used for the first time during the snowstorm.

"I think it was a huge benefit," Pruitt said. "Granted, the response times were slow all weekend due to the weather, but it definitely sped up the time."

Before rescue quad members could use the Gator on a call, though, they had to find a safe spot for the truck and trailer hauling it.

"We had to find a place that we could park this and then be able, after the event, to turn it around and get back to the building. So that was our biggest struggle," Pruitt said.

The Gator was used on five calls, four of them outside the rescue squad's service area.

Henry County Department of Public Safety Director Matt Tatum said all county volunteer rescue squads and fire departments and Department of Public Safety members came together as one during the storm.

"We are very blessed to have the professional volunteer and career personnel that we have," Tatum said.

Pruitt said while most people may not have been expecting a Gator to come get them, they didn't complain when it showed up.

"They were very grateful that we were there. They didn't care what kind of vehicle," Pruitt said.

You can follow the Ridgeway Rescue Squad on Twitter and Instagram at @ridgewayrescue.

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