(Contributed photo courtesy of the Marshall Police Department)
Fire Chief Tony Day said emergency responders got a call from BYS in the morning Tuesday, Feb. 26, informing them two BYS ranches had lost power. Day said BYS wanted to wait until 2 p.m. to see if power was restored by then.
Power was not restored, but the wait gave emergency responders enough time to prepare a plan of action.
"We had enough notice so that I was able to get the Special Road District and MoDOT to help us plow the road for us," Day said. "They got out there and were very helpful."
Once plows cleared the road, a convoy of two firefighters, four police officers and six vehicles headed for the rescue. They included the two MPD's Humvees and one of the MPD's four-wheel drive Chevy Tahoes, the Saline County Health Department's and the E911 Dispatch's Ford Excursions, and a fire truck.
Once on Route WW, about a mile from the BYS facilities, the two Humvees made their way in knee-deep snow to rescue the people in the ranches.
"The snow was deep enough that the Humvees were busting through the drifts to get back to where the kids were," said MPD Chief Mike Donnell, who participated in the rescue. "Our biggest concern was the fact they hadn't had power all day and they were out in the middle of nowhere."
The 18 kids and two adults at the BYS ranches were taken from the Humvees to the other vehicles and then transported to BYS's main facility, where the American Red Cross provided cots and blankets for them to sleep on.
"They are fine, safe and warm now," said BYS Executive Director Roy Morrill. "They are camped out in a couple of our school rooms."
Morrill said he was grateful for the rescuers' effort.
"I would emphasize how grateful we are to police and other community resources that responded," Morrill said. "They were just terrific."
Both Day and Donnell said it was a well-executed operation.
"I think everybody did their job very well and worked very well together," Donnell said.
Day said the BYS situation was the only rescue operation conducted in Marshall as a result of the storm, but Arrow Rock and Slater each rescued people.
Marshall firefighters also responded to several tree limb fires Tuesday caused by contact with power lines.
Contact Carlos Restrepo at firstname.lastname@example.org