The Tucson Fire Department’s Wildland Fire Team underwent specialized training on Thursday, preparing for what could be a challenging wildfire season in southern Arizona.

With temperatures soaring into triple digits and dry conditions typical for summers in the region, the team is leaving no stone unturned.

The TFD Wildland Fire Team is experienced in battling wildfires, but when they themselves get injured on the job, they rely on the Rapid Extraction Module (REMS) for rescue.

The REMS team participated in intensive training with their newest tool designed to better assist injured firefighters.

The tool in question is a brand new Utility Task Vehicle (UTV).

K.P. Maxwell, TFD’s Wildland Coordinator explained that the UTV enables access to locations where helicopters cannot reach due to wind or smoke conditions.

“Due to wind or smoke conditions, [helicopters] cant get access to an injured Wildland firefighter,” he said. “Itd be their role and responsibility to go in and extract that firefighter out and get them to a hospital as quick as possible.”

TFD Engineer Dwight Jackson, who trained the REMS team on Thursday, mentioned that this is their second UTV and believes it will be a valuable asset.

“People are constantly trying to find ways to do things more efficiently. This is really going to be a great service for anyone whos out there working on a wildfire,” Jackson stated.

Noah Judson, an Emergency Medical Technician with TFD, emphasized that having top-notch equipment like the UTV allows them to be prepared for all situations.

“Having top notch equipment, it allows us to be the best. It allows us to be the most capable that we can be and were never going to be behind the 8-ball,” Judson said. “Were always going to be prepared to go out and do the job that were called to do.”