Donated rescue vehicle expands College’s emergency response capabilities

Through the generosity of the New Paltz Rescue Squad (NPRS) and the New Paltz Fire Department (NPFD), SUNY New Paltz is the recipient of a rescue utility vehicle that will support ongoing efforts to prepare for and respond to emergencies on campus.

Scott Schulte, assistant director for fire safety with EHS, said that the vehicle, a 2000 Chevrolet Rescue, will serve multiple purposes for the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), the University Police Department (UPD) and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Key to its utility is the vehicle’s storage capacity, which will allow emergency responders to pre-load equipment and cut down on response times.

“We’ll be able to put all the equipment the CERT team uses – emergency medical response equipment, search and rescue equipment, firefighting equipment – into the vehicle and have it ready in the event of an emergency, rather than having to transfer it when an emergency happens,” Schulte said.

Other planned uses for the rescue vehicle include fire response and event and traffic management by the UPD and EHS.

The rescue vehicle was originally in service as the NPRS extraction vehicle, housing the Jaws of Life and other like equipment. When responsibility for extrication rescues in the Town of New Paltz was transferred from the NPRS to the NPFD, the vehicle went to the NPFD as well. The NPFD already had an extraction rescue vehicle, however, and while it kept the extraction equipment as a backup, NPFD officials began seeking a way to put this superfluous vehicle to use.

“They were looking to see who might have a good use for it, and I said we could put to good use here, to help us handle minor incidents that the Rescue Squad and Fire Department wouldn’t otherwise need to be called out for,” Schulte said. He went on to offer thanks to the NPRS and the NPFD for contributing to the College’s emergency response inventory.

“The Rescue Squad and Fire Department collectively decided this would be the best use for this vehicle, and we owe them thanks for that,” Schulte said. “The cooperation between the Rescue Squad, the Fire Department and SUNY New Paltz is at an all-time high, and I think this donation represents a continuation of that pattern.”

More information about the University Police Department, the Community Emergency Response Team and the Office of Environmental Health & Safety is available online.

Faculty, staff and students interested in joining CERT as a volunteer should look out for information about training courses to be held during the fall semester.