Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn and Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson are recommending no unnecessary travel. Dunn reported multiple crashes, areas of zero visibility and slick road conditions. The snow is expected to continue like this into tonight. If you have an appointment or wonder if a place of business is open, call ahead to make certain they’re open. We have some closures listed on kymnradio.net. If you must travel, leave plenty of stopping distance and slow down. We talked with fire Chief Gerry Franek earlier, he said they’re usually pretty busy with crashes but also responding to health issues. This type of snow is called “heart attack” snow. Franek added that this type of snow is also more slippery and they receive calls for falls. If you’re shoveling and have had heart issues, take precautions. Use a small shovel, take frequent breaks,
drink plenty of water and Watch for warning signs of a heart attack, lightheadedness, dizziness, being short of breath, or if you have tightness or burning in chest, neck, arms or back. If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911. Check our website for reported closures. Bottom line, don’t go anywhere unless you have to.
Waterville man dies at job site
One man was killed and another seriously injured Saturday afternoon in a construction site accident in Faribault. Emergency personnel responded to 17th Street NW and Hulett Avenue at a senior living facility under construction near North Alexander Park. According to Faribault Police Capt. Neal Pederson, two men were in cardiac arrest, a third remained conscious. Officers determined that three people using boom lifts were installing gutters on a new building when one worker struck a power line, electrocuting all three. Another worker on the ground was able to lower the victims. CPR was administered. 39 year old Anthony Bendrick, of Warsaw, was airlifted to a metro-area hospital in critical condition. 42 year old Eric Hunter of Waterville was pronounced dead Faribault investigators are working with investigators from Xcel Energy and have contacted OSHA. The workers were all employed by Southard Construction of Waterville, a subcontractor on the project.
Volunteer Rescue worker burnout
“we don’t want to burn our people out”, NAFRS Fire Chief Gerry Franek talking last month about the number of rescue calls they’d been responding to and how they’re creeping back up. While we can’t count today due to the extreme weather, at one point they were responding to over 400 medicals/ambulance runs a year, many of which they were not really needed, having been handled by Northfield EMS. Franek said they had determined what calls were critical for them to be on, and requested that Dispatch only give them those calls. That worked for a time. The Rescue Squad is certified as Basic Life Support (BLS) while Northfield EMS is Advanced Life Support (ALS). Speaking of the Ambulance service Franek said, “they have a higher level of medical training, they are staffed 24/7, we’re a volunteer organization. We don’t want to be called to something that they can handle that we are not needed for”. NAFRS rescue does respond to all traffic crashes, missing persons and such. He said after they talked with Dispatch, their calls went down from about 400 to about 120 but they’re creeping back up. He said, “it’s easy to punch it out and say, yup, just come anyway. So I think that’s what’s happened. We have to revisit with Dispatch to say here are the protocols for us to come and they have to adhere to that”. He added that the calls are now upwards of 230 per year. Franek said last week that he’s not yet had a chance to speak with Pearl Station, the Rice/Steele dispatch center in Owatonna.
Snow emergencies, closures
The City of Northfield is under a Snow Emergency. Check their website for more information. Hiawathaland Transit has shut down operations, FiftyNorth Senior Center is closing at 1pm and among closures is the Living Treasure award event scheduled for this evening at the Grand Event Center to honor Judy Code. It’s been postponed to February 5th.