Group of dedicated volunteers help stranded first responders after snowstorm

    Group of dedicated volunteers help stranded first responders after snow storm

    SNOQUALMIE/NORTH BEND, Wash. -- Many areas across the Puget Sound region are still digging out from Mother Nature's massive snow hit.

    A group of dedicated King County Search and Rescue volunteers went all over the county to help stranded first responders so they could respond to emergencies in the storm.

    For a grueling week, volunteer rescuers like Heather Jordan put their lives on hold to help those who also save lives.

    "One of the most fulfilling days of my life, not just with search and rescue, but in my life,” said Jordan. “It’s really hard to put it to words the sense of fulfillment and the sense of community and teamwork."

    All over the region unrelenting snow crippled roads and lives, including first responders.

    "When we call 911 there's never a message that says, ‘Sorry we're closed due to a snow day,’ so those workers needed to get in,” said Jordan.

    Jordan and 52 King County Search and Rescue volunteers took up the mission.

    Using their own 4X4s and gas, rescuers picked up stranded paramedics, dispatchers, nurses and deputies from their homes and drove them to work so they could do their job.

    Rescuers drove nearly 8,000 miles and worked 1,000 hours fanning King County from Issaquah Highlands to even Fox Island in Pierce County.

    "These are folks who walked away from jobs for a week or personal lives,” said King County Search and Rescue President. “With being able to respond at the drop of a hat."

    Due to the record snow dumping, the missions aren't quite over yet. Now volunteers are on standby for avalanche danger.

    Deputies said one of the worst-hit area was from North Bend to Snoqualmie Pass.

    “With winter conditions like what we’ve seen over this last week, the impacts in the parking lots and getting trail access, this might not the best time to go out into the back county,” said King County Search and Rescue President Nathan Lorance. “Just response times— if something were to happen--would be increased because we have to traverse through the same terrain."

    Whatever happens, they will be ready to answer the call.

    First responders said people should consider skipping the mountains this weekend, but if they did decide to go to the mountains, they should make sure to check avalanche conditions.

    The Northwest Avalanche Center is a good place to check out:

    First responders said never forget to carry the 10 essentials: navigation, headlamp, sun/weather protection, first aid, knife, fire, shelter, extra food, extra water, and extra clothes.

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