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First responders preparing for winter storm

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DENVER (KDVR) – Colorado’s first responders are ready for the storm, as they always are. The Colorado National Guard has been activated to rescue people that may get stranded. They are urging people to stay off the roads, but you don’t have to be an expert to know that’s a good idea. 

Maggie Moore was visiting Colorado from Texas in March of 2019.

“Oh, it’s hard to forget! I was actually thinking, it was exactly two years ago tomorrow. We thought we were going to get out of it. We didn’t. We got stuck in that 500 car pileup just south of Castle Rock, and we were stuck there for nine hours. We were trying to travel home and got stuck. I believe an 18-wheeler got turned sideways and that’s what caused a huge car pile-up.” 

That is what emergency responders want to avoid this weekend, although they are prepared. CONG is pre-positioning soldiers along Interstate 25 and Interstate 70 to help in case people get stuck.

“We are using what is called a SUS-v it’s a slow unit support vehicle. It’s tracked vehicle, much like a tank. They can truly go through all conditions. The snow will not stop that vehicle,” Lt. Col. Jason Reed said.

In the Bomb Cyclone of 2019, these soldiers rescued 93 people, two dogs and checked on more than 200 vehicles. They would prefer you stay off the roads this weekend. Lt. Col. Reed said, “There are enough indicators there is going to be significant snow. If you are getting out there, you are putting potentially others at risk.” 

South Metro Fire Rescue has plows on standby to help get ambulances to people in need, and they have snowcat type tracked vehicle as well.

“Please do not count on the snowcat to rescue you. We do have it. If you want to be safe, we want our community to be safe as can be, please stay home,” Kim Spuhler said.

“We have firefighters coming in early for shift change, we’re making sure our equipment is ready as we always do. We are making sure we are snow ready, our plows are there as well to escort ambulances to medical emergencies. We want people to get basic essentials now. Don’t wait until tomorrow or tomorrow evening to get things done, that way we are not running to rescue people that could’ve been prevented.” 

But you don’t have to listen to officials about staying off the roads. Take it from Moore, who knows firsthand.

“It was an experience I will never forget. Just don’t do it. Even if you think you’re a good driver in the snow, it doesn’t matter cause you’re dependent on everyone else. If someone gets stuck, the whole road is going to close down. I wouldn’t do it at all,” Moore said. “We thought we were leaving early enough, but the storm hit earlier than expected. That’s how we got stuck. I just wouldn’t leave your house til it’s over. You just never know what’s going to happen. Would hate for anyone to go through that same experience.” 

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