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Great news from Mike Stewart, chief of the Washington Volunteer Fire Department: “We are excited to announce our successful application for the donation of a customized UTV, adding another tool to enhance our capabilities!

Rugged Radios, in Arroyo Grande CA, offered to build one Polaris Ranger 1000 XL Crew for a lucky California Fire Department, and we, and the people we serve, were chosen. This vehicle will assist us in our efforts to provide the best possible service to our canyon. With improved suspension, better ground clearance, incredible lighting, cutting edge communications, and controlled cabin climate, this vehicle can transport firefighters into areas where conventional vehicles cannot access. Which will improve firefighter safety, comfort, and effectiveness.”

Stewart’s submission on behalf of the 9-person all volunteer fire department was picked by owner and founder of Rugged Radios, Greg Cottrell, as the winner of Project X.

From left to right- Greg Cottrell, Mike Stewart, and Pat Sullivan pose in front of the Washington, CA fire department and their new Rapid Response Vehicle. “This couldn’t have gone to a more deserving department.” – Pat Sullivan. Photo courtesy Rigged Radios

“During the “finalist interview”, which was spearheaded by Cottrell, townspeople came out of their homes, businesses, and paused their day just in time to witness Project X pull around the bend. With the help of Pat Sullivan, Division Chief at Nevada County Consolidated Fire Department, Rugged was able to formulate a plan of surprise that ended up being better than anyone could have planned. As it turns out, Sullivan is longtime friends with Stewart. The plan was in motion from that conversation forward and they helped the Rugged team apply final touches on the build, as well as provide an escort and delivery of Project X itself.”

“Confusion and shock were on every single volunteer firefighters face as they stared at this Ultimate Rapid Response Vehicle that was now theirs. The cameras were rolling as the shock danced heavily in the air. Stewart then warmly embraced Cottrell with many thanks while uttering his disbelief at the situation. The four volunteers behind him broke into applause and cheers of celebration congratulating him for a job well done. You could see the excitement in their faces and the underlying plot each one had to drive this awesome vehicle.

After a brief summary of the build and a rundown of how everything worked, the Washington, CA volunteer fire department embarked on a mission into the wilderness to drive, practice, and train with their new Rapid Response Vehicle.” [source: Rugged Radios]