Oregon Dunes gets new center to respond to ATV accidents
Off-roading and ATVing in the sand has long been a popular way to play on the Oregon Coast.
But it's certainly not the safest.
Ambulances responded to 52 accidents this year at the Umpqua Lighthouse entrance to the Dunes National Recreation Area, treating people for everything from broken legs to head traumas.
When it's busy, there's always an accident out there, somebody getting hurt," Douglas County Parks Director Jim Dowd told The Register-Guard newspaper.
Now, a new rescue station is opening that authorities hope can get help to victims sooner, and even help prevent some injuries.
The 3,500-square-foot, $280,000 rescue station includes a classroom for teaching dunes rules and driver safety, as well as bays for storing law enforcement and other emergency vehicles.
Paid for with county funds and a $180,000 Oregon Parks and Recreation Department grant from gas taxes and all-terrain vehicle registration fees, the station will cut response times to the dunes in half, Douglas County sheriff's Sgt. Scott Fray said.
Fray said the county is also working on an arrangement with the Douglas County court system to allow people to have dune-related citations dismissed after paying to take a class at the rescue center.