Multiple first responders rush to help victims of ATV fire near Stratford
Stratford Fire & Rescue is backed up by VDMC, Stanhope Fire and two LifeFlight helicopters
STRATFORD — Multiple first responders sprung into action Tuesday evening when an ATV burst into flames just north of Stratford, injuring its two occupants and bringing ground and air ambulances to a convergence point in Stanhope.
An adult female and a young juvenile, whose names have not yet been released, suffered unknown injuries when the four-seater caught fire at the intersection of Stagecoach Road and 350th Street, which is less than a mile from Stratford.
The pair were taken to the Stratford fire station by someone passing by, according to Brad Westrum, Stratford Ambulance Director.
An accompanying 911 call was logged at 7:02 p.m., Westrum said.
At the station, Stratford first responders immediately began stabilizing the injured, he said.
At the same time, an ambulance from Van Diest Medical Center headed to Stanhope to meet with Stratford Ambulance in a tier.
Meanwhile, two UnityPoint Health Lifeflight helicopters — one from Fort Dodge and the other from Des Moines — started the flight from their respective bases, eventually landing on the grounds of Heartland Cooperative in Stanhope.
LifeFlight 1, from Des Moines, and LifeFlight 2, from Fort Dodge, landed just a few minutes apart on the property adjacent to Iowa Highway 17 in Stanhope, Chief Dan Ostrem, of Stratford Fire, said.
Ostrem, who was not at the Stratford station when the first 911 call came in, instead headed straight to Stanhope where he assisted Stanhope Fire in preparing the landing ground for the helicopters.
By the time the helicopters landed, the VDMC paramedics had already met Stratford’s ambulance just south of town and had begun working on the injured in Stratford’s unit.
“They’re working in the back of the ambulance,” Westrum said.
Westrum and Ostrem did not disclose the extent of the patients’ injuries, though Westrum said that in cases of fire, “if an airway has any injury, we err on the side of extreme caution.”
He did not know to which hospital the patients were taken.
Ostrem said of the ATV: “The whole thing burned up.”
Stratford Fire extinguished the blaze.
With a crew at the fire, and one in the ambulance, Ostrem expressed his pride at the 28-person volunteer force’s performance.
“Our volunteers did a tremendous job,” he said.
Westrum estimated that it took only about 35 minutes from the time of the 911 call until the air ambulances left carrying the injured.