Avon Volunteer Fire Department Adds Amphibious Utility Vehicle to Fleet


Fire Chief Michael Trick Says New ARGO Will Help Crews Rescue Difficult to Reach Victims

Avon Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD) Chief Michael Trick proudly announces the addition of a fully amphibious utility vehicle to its fleet of apparatus. Donations from the community have made possible the purchase of the ARGO 8×8 Responder.

“As with any new piece of apparatus, our hope of hopes is that we never have to use it,” says Avon Volunteer Fire Department Chief Michael Trick. “However, we have had rescues in the past where a vehicle like the ARGO would definitely have helped our volunteers reach and rescue people much more quickly. We couldn’t be more grateful to our generous community for the donations that made this purchase possible.”

Over the years, the AVFD has been tasked with several search and rescue incidents along the Farmington River with water conditions that rendered boats virtually useless. To conquer such challenges, the ARGO can negotiate sandbars and rocks and then swim to the next fording location as well as expand a search on land. In addition, the ARGO can transport a crew and equipment to areas accessible only by narrow trails or steep terrain without clearing a trail. The ARGO can traverse moderate snow events and, with the addition of tracks, it can conquer very deep snow.

In late August, the AVFD spent a full weekend training to use the ARGO with representatives from HuDat, the West Haven dealership that sold the vehicle to the Department, as well as ARGO-trained firefighters from Bellevue Fire Department in Cheektowaga, New York who donated their time and expertise to the AVFD for the weekend.

From the Shank’s ARGO website: The 8-wheel drive, amphibious ARGO has it all – a powerful yet quiet, liquid cooled, fuel injected engine, efficient ADMIRAL steering transmission, great top speed handling and best-in-class extreme terrain capability – the perfect balance for all first response situations. With a load capacity of up to 1,150 pounds (521 kg) on land or 1,000 pounds (454 kg) on water, the ARGO 8×8 750 HDi can transport up to six passengers on land, four on water, and features a towing capacity of 1,800 pounds (816 kg). The stretcher unit can also easily be removed and switched out for a Basket (Ferno Traverse). The vehicle also has an 80 gallon water tank without foam or 75 gallon water tank with foam.

About the AVFD

Incorporated in 1943, the Avon Volunteer Fire Department proudly protects more than 18,000 people living in the 22.6 square mile area that makes up the Town of Avon. The Department’s mission is to provide fire suppression and prevention, life safety and rescue support, as well as other community support to the citizens of the Town of Avon. In addition, the Department provides mutual aid support to those surrounding communities that, in time of need, may request such assistance.

Staffed entirely by volunteers, the Avon Volunteer Fire Department prides itself on the selflessness and dedication of its members – firefighters, fire police, administrative members, Explorers, active veterans, senior veterans, and associate members, all of whom play a vital role in the safety of Avon. The Department operates six companies and 15 pieces of apparatus, including a brush truck, ladder truck, tanker, rescue vehicle, boat, and pumpers. Four stations are located throughout Town – Company 1 on Darling Drive, Company 2 on Secret Lake Road, Company 3 on West Avon Road, and Company 4 on Huckleberry Hill Road. Anyone interested in learning more about the AVFD should call the Avon Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD) at 677-2644, visit www.avonvfd.org, connect on Facebook at AvonVFD, or stop by the Company 1 firehouse located at 25 Darling Drive any Monday evening after 7:00.