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National Guardsman helping with rescue efforts - KOAM TV 7

National Guardsman helping with rescue efforts

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      Emergency responders need to get to patients quickly and the national guard is here to help them.
     FOX 14 and KOAM's Lisa Olliges explains how humvee's and guardsmen are helping ambulance crews get around. 

Newton County ambulance crews rush to get a patient on board an ambulance that slid off the exit ramp of highway 249. Also helping out are members of the National Guard.
"It's one of the reasons I joined the national guard, this is what we're here for, to go out in the community help people in need. says Sgt. Troy Wood of the 276th NG Engineering Battalion.

 While guardsmen dig, a critical patient is moved to the newton county ambulance.
In other cases guardsmen help the ambulance crew get to the patient.

"We can go places  some of their vehicles cant when the citizens of Newton County need us we cant say "no," when we have the  national guard with us and their all terrain vehicle it does allow us the accessibility to get to where we need to go to."
in fact the  high riding heavy humvee has lots of advantages over the ambulance, a two wheel drive vehicle." says Steve Cathers a paramedic.
   
"The ambulance isn't 4 wheel drive, our humvee is 4 wheel drive and we can go some rough places with it." Kendall Hickman of the 276th NG Engineering Battalion adds.

On Tuesday night it wasn't just about clearing a path, they put in emergency equipment and retrieved patients.

"We'll use this back up to the porch of somebody house we'll load them on to the backboard."

says Troy Wood, "If we had to get back somewhere the ambulance couldn't go we could transport the patient out to the ambulance and many times its helping move the ambulance itself. Actually earlier the ambulance got stuck in town we had to pull it out so."

And while it's a different kind of battle guardsmen say its an  equally important  mission.
Its very important, people are stranded, running out of propane. Main thing is don't go out unless you have to.

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