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home : columns : rahn larson
September 22, 2017

9/13/2017 8:24:00 AM
Protecting emergency vehicles
Saturday morning, while watching The Weather Channel's wall-to-wall coverage of Hurricane Irma, a story about rescue workers caught my attention.
It was a piece about how some fire/ambulance departments prepared for the impending disaster by moving valuable equipment out of their buildings, away from the potentially damaging winds.
For me, this was a timely story because I was about to cover the open house for the new Emergency Services Facility in Windom. Obviously, we won't see any hurricanes here, but tornados can be every bit as damaging.
One thing we won't see our departments doing is moving emergency equipment out of the Emergency Services Facility. Fire Chief Dan Ortmann informed me that the local ESF was designed to withstand winds of 80 to 100 mph.
Now, he added that the building's doors would not stand up to that much wind. The point is, rescue vehicles would survive the storm. In that kind of dangerous event, that could ultimately be the difference between life and death.
ESF open house recap
We will run photos and a larger recap of Saturday's open house in next week's Citizen. But I will mention that it seemed like Ambulance Director Tim Hacker and Fire Chief Dan Ortmann could not stress enough how crucial it is for both the fire and ambulance departments be in one place.
"To have us all under one roof, you don't know how much that means," Hacker said.

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