Colo. EMS introduces 'Swiss Army knife' of EMS vehicles

In addition to off-road capabilities, the truck is unmarked, and its lights can be hidden to help avoid detection at night

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — The “Swiss army knife” of ambulances is the newest addition to the Special Operations Response Team of Poudre Valley EMS in Colorado. Since being rolled out earlier this year, the truck has been used for everything from backcountry rescue missions to high-risk arrests.

Since the highly-trained medics are often called to help people in extreme environments like cliffs, rivers and trenches, the new vehicle was modified to access rough terrain. Sean Jennings, a mechanic coordinator for Poudre Valley, worked closely with SORT to customize and retrofit the vehicle to meet the team’s unique needs, reports The Coloradoan. 

As SORT Manager Braden Applegate puts it, “anything where you’re having to go in greater than a mile from the road, these guys are going.”

In addition to having off-road capabilities, the truck is unmarked, and its lights can be hidden to help the truck avoid detection at night. This comes in handy during high-risk arrest situations, where SORT members provide medical support to SWAT members on scene.

"People want to hurt us, too," Applegate said.

The truck can comfortably hold a working crew of five, but there’s room for up to 10 additional personnel or two patients, depending on the situation.

SORT units also carry equipment like ropes, flotation devices, helmets and wildland maps. They also have the option of wearing body armor, ballistic helmets and gas masks when they ride out with the SWAT team.

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