Virginia National Guard ready for rescues

National Guard called to help during storm in Va.

LEESBURG, VA (WUSA9) - Virginia's governor called up a couple hundred National Guard troops to clear roads and help rescue people stranded in the storm.

It ended up being more of a training and reconnaissance mission for the troops here at the Leesburg armory. But they had a blast doing it.

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The storm was no match for a three and a half ton, go anywhere Humvee.

"These things are definitely pretty awesome," said Sgt. Jamie Fisher. "Who wouldn't want to be out here driving a Humvee?"

National Guard troops have been known to rescue hundreds of motorists stranded on snow clogged interstates. They just didn't have to this time.

"Everybody has got a little disappointment," said Sgt Fisher.

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But there is also the bright side. No rescues meant nobody needed help. "At the end of the day, we're glad that business are back and operational, everyone is safe, and it's business as usual," said Sgt. Joe Gavin

It did give them a chance to tune up their trucks, to check routes so they can respond faster in the next emergency and to reminisce about the big blizzard of 2010. Fisher remembers rescuing, "a grandmother, two grandchildren, down a super long driveway, old country house."

He actually had to pull another Humvee out of the snow to rescue the family trapped in their home in the Shenandoah Valley.

"We kind of put the kids in the middle right here," motioning to the middle of the vehicle, "and we had a seat for the older lady, and we brought them back to the Stanley fire house.... Obviously, it's super gratifying."

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Just after the blizzard last year, those Humvees got into all kinds of unplowed neighborhoods around our area that were impassable for ambulances.
 

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