Archived Story

Ringdahl helps Sandy victims in N.J.

Published 11:47am Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fergus Falls resident and Ringdahl Ambulance owner Tollef Ringdahl said that although his crews are doing fine, the destruction and hardship sustained by Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast is unbelievable, according to an update Randall Fischer received from Ringdahl Monday.

The crews have limited cell phone service in many of the locations so updates are infrequent.

There are five Ringdahl ambulances and 12 crew members in New Jersey providing medical care, ambulance response, evacuations and other assigned missions.

They were evacuating Bellevue Hospital on Halloween evening, have run 911 calls, provided medical response in abandoned and fire-torn areas, provided care to nursing home residents in darkness and without power, and will continue working at least until Nov. 19, Ringdahl said.

For the most part, the five crews are staying together, however, occassionally they are assigned to remote areas alone or with another truck.

With no power, no sewer, and only bottled water, the conditions are less than ideal for responders.

They are happy to be there helping, however.

“Never take for granted your warm bed and dry clothes,” Ringdahl said.

The crews are looking forward to such comforts when they return home. They know it will be a long time before the people on the East Coast affected by Hurricane Sandy will feel the comfort of their homes again, so they “are not complaining. We are here to help,” he said.

Ringdahl ambulance crews have been on the medical response team since late on Oct. 28. Bjorn and Tollef Ringdahl along with nine other EMT and paramedic personnel, five ALS ambulances and the Para-Corp support van and trailer, staffed with Ringdahl EMS fleet manager, Glen Seiling, will stay in New Jersey for a few more weeks.

Crews may be switched out at a later date, said Ringdahl, but for now the initial 12 personnel from Jamestown and Lisbon, N.D., and Morris, Fergus Falls, and Pelican ambulance locations will stay in New Jersey for an undetermined amount of time.

Ringdahl ambulance locations and medical response services are covered as usual. “This is a team response,” he said, “and whether our crews are in New Jersey or in our communities here in Minnesota or North Dakota, they are all important and helping ensure coverage here and to te people in New Jersey.

“This response and assistance is planned for, prepared in advance, and our company is ready to help whenever needed. We adjust crew assignments locally and ensure coverage at all of our locations in Minnesota and North Dakota. We are prepared to send additional personnel on assignment if needed along with additional ambulances. We plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

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