THORNTON — A March blizzard dumped feet of snow across Colorado shutting down major highways, knocking out power and leaving drivers stranded.
Volunteers with Rampart Search and Rescue, a nonprofit, packed up their vehicles and started responding to calls to help drivers who were stuck.
Andrew Williams is a firefighter with Jefferson-Como Fire Protection District, but on Sunday he put on his Rampart Search and Rescue uniform and volunteered to brave the blizzard to get drivers stranded to safety.
“Just a sense of duty and helping the community and other people that need our help,” Williams said.
Williams said it wasn’t just small cars, but even big trucks and tow-trucks stuck in the snow. Between Sunday and Monday morning, Williams believes he helped people to safety from at least a dozen vehicles.
“Just this morning, we picked up three individuals that had been stranded overnight,” Williams said. “They were happy to see us. I think that they
were relieved that someone was there to help them and get them on their way.”
Williams became a volunteer with Rampart Search and Rescue in 2014. The nonprofit serves Adams, Lincoln and Morgan counties. The team responds to calls missing people and drivers stuck in storms.
On Sunday and Monday, Williams was one of more than a dozen volunteers with Rampart Search and Rescue out helping people stranded on the road. The volunteers use their personal vehicles and dig into their own pockets to pay for gas.
“Makes Colorado a better place,” Williams said.
The nonprofit heavily relies on community donations. If you would like to help, click here.
The organization was one of many responding to calls of distress. Between Sunday and Monday morning Denver Police officers responded to more than 60 calls of people stuck.
Officers at Denver International Airport rescued 100 people from their cars and 50 drivers struck in the storm.
Aurora Police helped 212 drivers get to safety and responded to nearly 20 crashes. In a tweet, Aurora Police said they are only responding to calls of drivers stuck in rural areas of the city, unless it’s a life safety issue.
A spokesperson with Colorado State Patrol says they received thousands of calls during the storm but said they do not keep track of motorists rescued.