Cass County Sheriff talks response to incidents during winter weather, storms

Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff
Photo by: WDAY Radio Staff

(Fargo, ND) -- It's not just a challenge for you when the snow flakes fall and cover roadways, first responders also have plenty of hurdles to jump to get to you in critical incidents.

Cass County Sheriff Jesse Jahner spoke with WDAY Midday about some of the challenges his department faces when it comes to responding to calls across the county, especially when winter weather moves through the area.

One of the key things that have helped deputies within the department get to calls is the snow plow owned by the Sheriff's Office.

"The main reason why we got it was approximately three years ago we responded to another domestic that was south of Horace and we just couldn’t get there with our patrol vehicles," said Jahner. "We had to get a hold of the county road department bring one of their plow trucks out to get us to that location. Things are obviously different now that we have our own plow and snowmobiles too, but we have a great relationship with them and can always call if we need extra help."

Jahner also noted that being in touch with people involved at the scene of critical incidents across the county also helps deputies and responders as they try to physically get to the scene.

"There’s some things we can do sometimes prior to arriving to help the situation approval to call one of the parties involved or that initial collar complainant that’s involved maybe like we’re talking about a domestic situation there may be some things that we can do over the phone and coaching a person to come along until we get there and often times we'll do that before response times are reduced."

As for planning ahead for major winter storms or excessive snowfall, Jahner says the best thing his department can do is spread out some resources in Cass County to try and keep those response times down.

"What we’ll do typically is stage our resources strategically to cut down most response times," said Jahner. " So you know obviously Casselton is essential to the county, so typically we'll stage some of our resources there. We'll also look some place south, maybe Kindred or in the Leonard area and in the north as well."

The main goal of the spreading of resources, addition of the plow and snow mobiles and contact with those involved in incidents is to bridge the 'icy' gap during winter months quicker for first responders so response times can shrink, and more lives can be saved.

Original Air Date: 
Thursday, December 15, 2022