Emergency Responders Battle Bitter Cold & Fatigue - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Emergency Responders Battle Bitter Cold & Fatigue

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As the train continues to smolder, crews are working countless hours on keeping an eye on the wreck. Emergency responders have had little sleep but are more worried about protecting the city.

Cass County Sheriff's Deputy Jeffery John Arth was first on the scene to Monday's derailment.

"I rolled up on scene probably 5 minutes after the call came, that's about when the first explosion went off so at that point I knew we needed to clear the area." Deputy Arth says.

Multiple explosions had crew concerned for the people in the area, but not themselves.

"I was even in my car and you could feel it though the windshield, the heat you know and you could feel the shockwave." Arth adds.

A scene nothing like he has witnessed in his 8 years.

"This is probably the most dramatic I would say." Arth nods.

Now he and emergency crews have been taking shifts watching the wreck and giving others a break to get food, rest and shelter from the cold.

"They are working in very difficult conditions, it's very cold outside its negative wind chill, negative temperatures, they're cold, they're tired, but they are doing extraordinary work, and they are doing their best to keep the community safe." says Sean Coffman with the American Red Cross.

Crews have been on scene for more than 24 hours,  many have only had a couple hours of sleep in between shifts.

"I think I got home about 2am, and I was back up at about 10 to 6, and you know get my morning coffee in." Arth laughs.

And both the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army thank the workers for their efforts and time they've been putting in.

"These individuals, these firefighters, these officers, these EMT's are going into the disaster zone to make sure everybody is taken care of." Coffman says.

"We're just out doing our job." Arth laughs.

Doing their part working together to keep the city safe.
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