Whitley Co. recruiting volunteers for winter emergency transportation

File Photo.

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (WANE)- After last year’s brutal winter, emergency officials in Whitley County want to make doubly sure they’re prepared for the season this year.

So they’ve decided to seek out a special team of on-call volunteers to help with transportation during winter weather emergencies.

Emergency leaders held their first meeting with potential volunteers in the Whitley County Government Center Thursday evening. Organizers are looking for people with snow-ready vehicles like trucks, SUV’s, and snowmobiles.

Volunteers must live in or very near Whitley County and will be required to pass a background check.

Organizers said safety will be the first priority.

“We are going to monitor your entire progress,” said Whitley County Emergency Management Director Charles Heflin.

“If we send you out on a mission, we’re going to monitor you from the beginning of that mission to the end of that mission. If something happens during that mission, we will get you help and then we will take care of whatever we have to take care of after that. We don’t want to put anyone in harm’s way without protecting them.”

Heflin said organizers are still working out details of exactly how they’ll cover potential injuries or damage to volunteers’ vehicles.

Whitley County is also looking for volunteers to help with emergency operations beyond transportation in support of the winter missions. Those operations might include fielding incoming phone calls, helping with paperwork, emergency responder tracking or helping with radio communications.

Those interested in potentially volunteering can call Whitley County’s emergency office at 260-248-3167 or email the office at WhitleyDHS@whitleygov.com.

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