By DOUGLAS W. MOTLEY
When it comes to restoring peace and tranquility to storm-ravaged mountain communities and local residents following the destructive blizzard in late February that laid waste to dozens of homes and businesses, one organization that stands out is the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Mobile Field Force.
On Monday, San Bernardino County Storm Center spokesman Nahome Tassew told The Alpine Mountaineer that county employees and volunteers had completed scores, if not hundreds, of missions in the area stretching from Crestline to Big Bear to rescue mountain residents trapped inside their snow-covered homes and clear snow from driveways and the rooftops of local businesses and public buildings in order to prevent roofs from caving in from the weight of accumulated snow and ice.
Mobile Field Force members have received extensive training in rescue operations at the Sheriff’s 800-acre Frank Bland Regional Training Center, which is nestled in the foothills of Devore. In recent weeks, Mobile Field Force volunteers have joined forces with Cal Fire, as well as fire department crews from San Bernardino, San Diego and Kings County. They have been seen clearing snow from the roofs of the Crestline post office and the Crestline Café. Other crews have been seen removing snow from driveways and vehicles buried deep in snow.
One such Mobile Field Force five-man crew, led by Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Brandt, showed up at a residence in the Skyland area of Crestline to dig out a vehicle that had been trapped for over a week in some three feet of snow and hardened ice at the end of the driveway.
Sheriff’s deputies remove snow and ice surrounding a vehicle trapped in a Crestline resident’s driveway. (Photos by Douglas W. Motley)
A crew prepares to remove snow from the roof of the Rim Bowling and Entertainment Center.
A San Diego County Fire crew removes snow from roof of the Crestline Café.