Mountain rescue trailer to assist Ky. rescue squad's efforts


By Brandon Goins
The Harlan Daily Enterprise

HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. — The Harlan County Rescue Squad has another tool in its arsenal thanks to a donation by three service clubs, a tool that squad captain Chris Allen says will help its mountain rescue unit reach people in the most difficult of places.

The All-Terrain Res-Q is an off-road patient transport trailer purchased for the squad by the Harlan Rotary Club, Harlan County Ridge Runners and the Kentucky Mountain Crawlers. According to Allen, the unique design will allow its use in the narrowest ATV trails where the squad’s modified Polaris Ranger cannot fit and can be unhooked and moved by hand instead.

"I can remember several years ago we had to pack someone by hand eight miles out of a mountain," said Allen of a logging accident victim. "With this we can roll it like a stretcher and run people beside of it. And we can pull this with a four wheeler through the tight trails that aren’t set up for a UTV."

Allen says it could also be used on hiking and horseback trails.

With the squad's mountain rescue unit working as many as 50 accidents or missing person cases each year, the service clubs that purchased the trailer recognized the need for the squad to utilize the device on Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure Park where the influx of tourists has led to more accidents.

According to Harlan Rotary Club member Jerry Blanton, it was something the club wanted to do for Harlan Countians as well as visitors. Rotary Club members contacted members of the Harlan County Ridge Runners and Kentucky Mountain Crawlers and quickly gained their support to purchase the transport.

"We've got six or seven members that belong to the rescue squad, and more that have assisted at times on mountain rescues, and search and rescues," said Bill Troutman, president of the Harlan County Ridge Runners.

Troutman said the club was glad to donate a third of the $4,100 price tag of the transport.

"We're definitely glad to help them. It's a safety-first club, and that's what we try to do is promote safety," said Troutman. "If it saves even one life, it's worth every penny, but it's also a tool that you hope is never used."

But the squad most likely will use it, and according to Allen it's something very much appreciated.

"They have all been very helpful over the years and we really thank them," he said.

Reprinted with permission of The Harlan Daily Enterprise

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