On Friday evening, my wife Donna and I were returning home after an enjoyable night out and were driving through Fairfax following a semi when it collided with a car and van.

We called in the accident and then did what we could for the 10 people involved that were hurt. Then the miracle of all the volunteer workers happened. I am having troubles after what my wife and I went through and I can’t imagine how people can volunteer to be firemen or ambulance people, especially with the memories and flashbacks.

I did what I could for the first 10 minutes or so for the 10 people and then it seemed like the scene turned into a war zone. According to the Fairfax newspaper, responding to the accident were the Minnesota State Patrol with assistance from the Fairfax Fire and Rescue and Gibbon Fire and Rescue at the scene for extraction of the injured people that were trapped in the vehicles. Also assisting the Fairfax Ambulance Service with the nine injured persons, the semi driver who seemed to be only badly shaken up, were the Franklin Ambulance Service, Hector Ambulance Service, and the North Memorial Ambulance Service. Also assisting were the Renville County Sheriff’s Department and the Fairfax Police Department. There were also two life-flight helicopters that landed in Fairfax for transporting the injured and three additional helicopters that were directed to the Redwood Area Hospital to transport the injured.

Just think of all these volunteers and professionals that showed up to help someone that they don’t even know. We should all count our blessings and thank all of our own volunteer ambulance people and firemen for what they do for us. We should also thank our Police Department officers and Sheriff’s Department officers, and the State Highway Patrol because they are normally the first ones on the scenes to help us.

Hopefully the State, County and City governments will continue to support these services and not cut their coverages or time of duty. The next person they may need to help may be you or me and every second counts. I just witnessed that first hand at Fairfax.

Next time you’re walking down the street and meet one of these people, take time to thank them for what they do because I know that most of us couldn’t do it, especially me!

Avery Grochow