Fire Department Looking for Back-Up Volunteers for First Responders

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After snowy conditions caused a more than 40-vehicle pileup, leaving hundreds stuck in traffic for hours Sunday, an area fire department is asking for volunteers to step up and help in the event of another incident.

The Osseo Fire Department says with its fire and EMS volunteers busy responding to the incident itself additional volunteers are needed to create a shelter where those involved can go for a cup of coffee, a place to charge a phone to contact their family, and even dish out a meal.

EMS Captain Kirk Gunderson said, “Who is going to open the kitchen? Who is going to make the coffee? Who is going to take care of these people? The idea came up, how do we formulate a plan?”

The department reached out on Facebook to see if volunteers would be interested in lending a hand during incidents and dozens responded saying they’re willing to help. Now the department says the next step is planning a meeting to organize volunteers.

“Every volunteers department has multiple things that can happen and need to happen behind the scenes that aren’t on the frontlines,” said Gunderson. “There are experts in our community that are willing to help, want to help, but just don’t know how to help.”

Within the next month the department hopes to set a date for the meeting and says there is no limit to the amount of volunteers welcome.

“We need everybody and we need all resources, all skills, there is nobody out there that doesn’t have something that they can offer to help somebody else,” added Gunderson.

If you’re not involved in a pile-up incident but stuck in traffic behind one law enforcement says please be patient.

Officers say you should stay in your vehicle and if you have any problems call 911 and someone will come to assist you.

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