FIRST RESPONDERS say having utility vehicles to get around the Mule Day grounds helped them treat a burn victim more speedily.
First responders say praises are due to a local business that was just doing business as usual when their product really came in handy and may have saved a woman’s life. For many years, South Georgia Tractor has loaned variations of 4-wheelers to first responders to use during Mule Day. Both law enforcement and emergency medical responders say the Kubota utility vehicle they were loaned Saturday helped them take care of a burn victim more quickly than if they had to rely on the large ambulance to maneuver through the festival grounds.
“We used the Kubotas to get to her and get her to the chopper. If it hadn’t been for that, she’d be in significant risk of dying,” says Lt. Jake Bush, an investigator with the Grady County Sheriff’s Office who was one of many law enforcement officers on duty during Mule Day.
The woman, who’s name has not been released, was taken by a life flight helicopter to the Burn Center at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida.
According to Mule Day officials, she was a food vendor who was burned as she prepared to cook and an explosion happened. Grady County EMS Director Rodney Gordon says it appeared the patient had first or second degree burns. Gordon says having the Kubota utility vehicles “contributed to helping the patient get faster treatment.”
South Georgia Tractor has donated utility vehicles to the Grady County Sheriff’s Office and Grady County EMS for about 15 years, according to Candice Eubanks, vice president of S.G.T. Typically, Eubanks says, they give five to each service, but because there was also a large motocross event happening at the same time in Grady County, they were only able to loan three of the Kubota side-by-side utility vehicles to the sheriff’s office and three to EMS.
“I hate they had to use it for that, but I’m glad it was there,” says Eubanks. She says they also donate such vehicles for use during other large public events in Grady County including school festivals and the Christmas parade.
Arthur Tatum, spokesman for the Calvary Lions Club, which puts on Mule Day, thanked S.G.T. and also Ag-Pro, which also donates utility vehicles for use during the big day. “We couldn’t get people around without our friends at South Georgia Tractor and Ag-Pro. It’s a lot easier to do that than walking,” Tatum says.