NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Nashville Fire Department launched new first responder ATVs over the weekend.

These new vehicles will allow first responders to help those in need in the entertainment district more efficiently. News 2 spoke with EMS District Chief Brooke Haas. She said these vehicles have been in the works for a while.

“We have MC 1 and MC 2. Hopefully in the future we will acquire more,” said Haas.

The vehicles are staffed by a paramedic and EMT. Haas said these are not transport vehicles, but they will service a great purpose in the entertainment district.

“During the large events like New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July and a couple of other ones, the ambulance can’t quite make it to the scene due to the congestion. So, we can load the patient, take them a couple blocks down the road, make the transfer to an ambulance, and then, they can carry them to the hospital,” explained Haas.  

These vehicles replace older EMS ATV’s that the Nashville Fire Department has used for years. The new vehicles launched over the weekend during the congestion of the downtown area during the Grand Prix. Haas said they came in handy dozens of times.

“We used it from Thursday through Sunday. We were excited to use these first during out inaugural event here. We made more than 50 responses during this time using these,” said Haas.

Both of the new vehicles have a medic bag inside. It’s full of supplies that first responders might need for those calls in the downtown area. Haas said all of the new features make it easier for both the patient and first responders.

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“There is a stretcher in the back, which helps us take the patient out. With the ATVs we have been using, we have to use different devices to get the patients to the ATV. They are in a controlled environment; they have air conditioning; they have a heater. The patient can be taken care of with privacy instead of having a lot of people looking and seeing what’s going on,” said Haas.

Haas said having these vehicles downtown and pre-staged before an event will allow them efficient access to patients instead of having large equipment from the fire stations try and access the area.

Each ATV with the patient enclosure cost about $80,000. The NFD plans to add two more ATVs to the fleet by the end of 2021.