IRVING — In the City of Irving, there is only one emergency vehicle capable of handling mass casualties, and firefighters say it has slashed emergency response times from 55 to 10 minutes.
Whenever Rescue 6 sits idle inside Irving's Fire Station No. 6 on Esters Road, it's a good thing. Just ask Capt. Wade Williams.
He says it's a bad day whenever you see it on the roadways.
"We kinda work in the shadows," Capt. Wade said. "You don't see us until it's your worst day."
Williams was at the scene on April 11 when the Urban Search and Rescue Unit, Rescue 6, was called into service for the ninth time ever. He said the $540,000 truck helped extricate victims trapped inside an overturned tour bus. It also helped remove those who were trapped underneath.
"We used the air bags and cribbing equipment to help recover trapped passengers," Williams said.
Three years ago, critics questioned the cost of Rescue 6. Now they praise it.
The emergency vehicle is the only one of its kind in Irving. Battalion Chief J.D. Porter credits Rescue 6 with improving emergency response times from 55 minutes to 10.
"If we cannot help people in an hour, it's too late," Porter said.
Having Rescue 6 available gave these first responders the precious seconds they needed. They said the closest truck similar to Rescue 6 is miles away in downtown Dallas.
Paramedic Jordan Massey says to improve survivability for people who are hurt, his team is typically only given 60 minutes to reach the accident and get the injured the medical help they need.
"I was really impressed, and I slept good that night", Massey said with a smile.