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Put to the Test

March 14, 2011

Stafford emergency service workers were put to the test Sunday evening. The late wintry blast that stormed through Stafford County was anything but simply “a trace” as described by the KAKE television weatherman. The highways were covered with solid ice within minutes of its beginning – some places up to several inches thick.

Making things even more eerie was the occasional crackle of thunder that rumbled across the sky.

What this strange weather meant for emergency crews was the start of one busy evening. A two-car accident one mile west of the City of Stafford was the first call. Crews hadn’t finished working this call when another accident was reported north of the City of Stafford on the Stafford/Ellinwood Road. This turned out to be a single vehicle rollover fatality accident.

Then emergency workers were directed to a two-car head-on collision just south of the Hwy 281/Hwy 50 junction. Mixed in around these accidents were multiple other accidents – some that turned out to be non-injury accidents, and some with minor injuries. Regardless, law enforcement officers had to work all the accidents. And, the lone dispatcher handled them all.

Minutes later another two-car head-on accident was reported just west of the Hwy 281/Hwy 50 junction. The driver of one vehicle suffered injuries, was trapped, and had to be removed with the department’s extrication tools. A small child in the other vehicle was transported by a second ambulance from Macksville.

The next call had nothing to do with the icy roadways. The call came in while emergency workers were just finishing the extrication. The emergency was a house fire in the City of Hudson.

The few crews that weren’t already tied up were dispatched to the fire, while those on the extrication quickly completed their work to assist. The fire was in the house of long-time Stafford County firefighter Mary Miller. Fire breached the chimney and got into the floor and walls.

The quick work of firefighters resulted in the extinguishment of the fire with only moderate damage to Mary’s home.

Dispatchers, firefighters, medics, law enforcement officers. The job they did Sunday evening was incredible and was performed at great personal risk.

The people of Stafford County are extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated, professional group of men and women. Be sure and thank them if you get the chance.

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