'CERT' Crew Assists Law Enforcement on Snow Patrol - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

'CERT' Crew Assists Law Enforcement on Snow Patrol

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Tow trucks and plows are out in force trying to get all of the roads cleared and pull out many buried vehicles, but when no one can access some impassable roads--law enforcement officers call up an emergency response crew--used to navigating in lots of snow.

As law enforcement patrols for accidents in a snow event unlike any other, a crew of Rough Rider responders shift their responsibility into high gear.

"What they did was actually check the vehicles and flag them, so when we come by, they can see the vehicle has been checked and cleared, basically speeds up our work, so it's one less thing we have to do." says Jim Hulm, Burleigh Co. Sheriff's Department.

This team of snowmobilers is trailblazing a new sort of emergency response system.

"Around a year ago, we got the snowmobile club involved officially, instead of unofficially, got them certified as a Community Emergency Response Team." says Jim Hulm/Burleigh Co. Sheriff's Department.

The Rough Rider Snowmobile club has helped out before, but this is their first snow emergency--as certified responders.

"Today we rode up to Wilton, rode across quite a few avenues that bud into highway 83, just to certify there wasn't anybody in the ditch, that had been abandoned and needed help." says Bob Gregoire/Rough Rider Snowmobile Club.

"Certainly it was important to check some of these back roads, plows hadn't been down some, we went down a mile, mile and half, see if there's any cars or anyone stranded, look for tracks." says Duane Boeder/Bismarck/Mandan Roughrider Snowmobile Club.

Volunteers doing what they love to do--to help out.

"Best snow we've had all year." says Gregoire.

"Any opportunity to ride and help out the community, they're doing both with one shot, so it's a win-win for everybody." says Hulm.

"If there ever was an issue where somebody needed help certainly I think you'd get the satisfaction of helping someone, that to me is worth a lot." says Boeder.

12 of the Bismarck Mandan Rough Rider Snowmobile Club members responded today.

They say they're the first club in the nation to take the "CERT" or Certified Emergency Response Team course--sponsored by FEMA.

They certainly weren't the only snowmobilers taking advantage of the fresh white stuff.

After driving home from Fargo last night on bad road conditions, David Fischer decided to spend his snow day, on his snow machine.

Fischer was out for several hours, riding from Menoken to Lincoln--and getting possibly one of his last snowmobile rides in for this winter season.

"It's something to do when it's snowing, rather than sitting in your house, bored, so that's mainly why I ride sled... Most of my friends ride motorcycles, so they're kind of bummed out right now, but my friends with snowmobiles, they're definitely enjoying today." says David Fischer/Lincoln.

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