On Friday, the Valparaiso Fire Department gratefully accepted a grant from NIPSCO which will go towards the purchase of a Kubota RTV utility vehicle that will greatly expand the department's capabilities across the city.
The NIPSCO grant for the Valparaiso Fire Department’s new Kubota RTV X900 was presented by Rick Calinski, Public Affairs Manager with NIPSCO, and received by City of Valparaiso Fire Chief, Chad Dutz.
“When Valpo got the new pathway on the west side of town we noticed it would be tough to get our apparatus out there,” said Dutz. “So, we started thinking about some ways that we could get out there and perform a rescue if we had to, or transport a patient out of that area.”
“We decided to reach out to NIPSCO to see if they would be interested in giving out a grant as we know that they’ve done that throughout the community,” Dutz added. “They said they would be more than happy to work with us. We really appreciate it and this will help us a great deal.”
NIPSCO has a long history of reaching out and helping to make projects like this one a reality in communities across Northwest Indiana. With a particular focus on first responders, NIPSCO’s Calinski was excited to be a part of the efforts to expand VFD’s response capabilities.
“We have an opportunity to work with Valpo Fire Department quite often to respond to emergency situations,” said Calinski. “A lot of times first responders and NIPSCO electric and gas are on a scene at the same time. They approached us about an opportunity to support them with this Kubota RTV which could help them respond to areas that are tough to pull in a large rig to respond to emergencies.”
“A big part of our mission at NIPSCO is to support our first responders who help and support our customers and residents in communities,” Calinski continued. “We’re just privileged and it’s our pleasure to support Valpo Fire Department with this purchase, and to better respond to emergency situations.”
Along with the ability to reach pathways and trails across the city, the new utility vehicle will give Dutz and the Valparaiso Fire Department greater mobility for city events as well.
“It just really enhances our abilities,” Dutz concluded. “It will be used for things like Popcorn Festival, Fourth of July Celebrations, to transport patients if we need to, and it will also be used for pathway safety.”