Interview: Butte County Sheriff's Search & Rescue Uses QTAC Equipment to Help Save Lives

Published on:  

October 12, 2023

When a rescue call comes in, EMS and rescue teams need equipment that can keep up in tough terrain and unknown situations. Butte County Sheriff's Search & Rescue has been using QTAC equipment for several years, so we sat down with Dennis Schmidt, Public Relations Officer for Butte County Sheriff's Search & Rescue, to learn about his experience with QTAC.

Thanks for your time, Dennis. To get us started: What are your priorities when purchasing new equipment?

Our team is all volunteer, and funded entirely by donations, so we must very carefully chose our equipment suppliers. Our goal is to purchase good quality products that will allow our team to help the public for many years.

What QTAC equipment is on your roster right now?

Our Rescue 3 unit is a 2020 Ford F-550 truck with a custom QTAC Rescue box. Our Ranger 1 and Ranger 3 units each have the QTAC EMS-F skid for stokes basket transport.

What challenge or need has QTAC apparatus met?

The QTAC skids have made transporting a patient out of remote rescues with a stokes basket much safer for both patients and our attending medical staff. We used our Tracked Polaris ranger with EMS skid to transport out a number of patients during the winter storms earlier this year.

What about the QTAC skids has helped in your rescues?

It allows the patients to be easily and quickly secured and provides a safe location for the attending EMS staff to monitor patient condition during transportation. Our team’s goal always is to first “Do no harm,” and then to rapidly transport patients out to a higher level of care. These QTAC skids assist us with this goal.

How about the F-550 truck?

Our QTAC-built Rescue 3 truck has greatly improved our ability to respond to technical rescues. The custom box allows us to store more equipment where we can access it easier and be more effective with it. The super singles kit allows us to go further and get equipment closer to the incident than ever before, making rescues faster and improving patient outcomes.

What kind of scenarios or situations have you taken Rescue 3 into?

During the winter storms of 2023, we used Rescue 3 to gain patient access in up to three feet of snow without any issues, allowing us to get more equipment to scenes faster and transport patients quicker. During our annual flood season, the custom-designed QTAC roof boxes on Rescue 3 allow us to transport an inflatable raft on the roof of the truck so it can be deployed quicker without needing to haul trailers into a rescue scene. This improves our ability to respond quickly to water rescue incidents.

And how about your EMS-F UTV skids?

During those 2023 winter storms, we used the EMS-F skid, placed in our tracked Ranger, over and over again to transport paramedics to patients in areas that were inaccessible to normal emergency response vehicles. The skid made it quick and easy to transport patients out.

QTAC offers a solution for every need

In addition to the lightweight EMS-F UTV skid proving so effective for the Butte County Sheriff’s Department, QTAC offers the EMS-R UTV skid, which comes standard with a roomy equipment box under the patient area, and the EMS-RG UTV skid, which can accommodate a full-size patient gurney. All of our UTV skids feature an adjustable attendant’s seat for optimal patient access. And talk to us about capacity-expanding add-ons like IV poles, oxygen-storage mounts, and sliding storage. For departments handling both fire and rescue, we offer a line that provides firefighting capability and patient care space.

What do you need from QTAC equipment to respond to situations? Contact our team, and we’ll help you find a solution.

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