Safety & Rescue lauded for performance to county

By Greg Hunt

The contributions of the Isanti County Safety & Rescue volunteers were spotlighted at the June 1 Isanti County Board meeting.

Deputy Kevin Carlson, who oversees the group through the Sheriff’s Office, delivered the 2010 annual report to the commissioners. Safety & Rescue donated 4,769 hours that year at a cost savings of approximately $130,000—the equivalent to just over two full-time deputy salaries, he noted.

Long-time Safety & Rescue members honored on their retirements this past winter (l-r) Dennis Valentyn Sr., Garvin Mindt, Dehl Lindstrom and Roger LaFontaine, with Dep. Kevin Carlson in back.

“I can’t say enough about this group. They are on-call 365 days a year, with no pay an no relief association for retirement benefits,” said Dep. Carlson.

The Safety & Rescue team recently celebrated the retirements of three long-time members—Dehl Lindstrom, Garvin Mindt and Roger LaFontaine—who gave over 85 years of combined experience to the county. Dep. Carlson also noted the appreciation he felt to long-time members Dean Rudquist and the late Dennis Valentyn Sr. who retired in the past two years. Presently, there are 20 S & R volunteer members.

More Safety  & Rescue highlight notes presented by Dep. Carlson:

• 1,285 hours  of total paged-out time, which included 84 car accidents, 4 fire scene assists, and 2 water rescues

• 3,464 hours of total non-paged hours (training, patrols, aiding at special events)

• Operates on same $14,000 budget for past several years, primarily used for fuel and maintenance costs for vehicles and supplies.

“This has been a tremendous group of people over the years. They are tireless, and they’ve saved the people of the county tons of money over that time,” said Board Chair and former Isanti Co. Sheriff  Larry Southerland.

Dep. Carlson added that he and S & R representatives visited all the townships in Isanti County to seek donations for medical bags for the members.

Some townships were able to donate this year, and others pledged donations for 2012. The trauma bags, at a cost of $400 each, can be kept with the S & R members as they respond from home or work.

In addition, four new AEDs were purchased and spread to members throughout the county. Donations from the Arctic Plunge and the Isanti Lions Club helped cover those costs.


Additional acres purchased for Dalbo WMA

DNR Wildlife Manager Dave Pauly received the board’s blessing on a 73-acre land purchase which will expand the Dalbo Wildlife Management Area to more than 3,000 acres.

The tract of land was acquired by the Rum River Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association using the Conservation Partnership Legacy program of the Outdoor Heritage Fund.

“It’s a unique piece of property with a high ridge and a mature hardwood forest on it. There’s habitat for deer, turkey and black bear. It’s accessible right off Co. Rd. 16,” said Pauly of the property located on the southwest corner of the Dalbo WMA (also known as the Krone Bog WMA).


In other action, the board:

• Approved bids for projects at Vegsund Family County Park: Picnic shelter stonework from D&J Masonry ($2,950); Road, trail & parking lot pavement from Knife River ($60,488). Up to 75 percent of costs will be reimbursed through Legacy Grant award.

• Approved using $6,000 from township dedicated Park Fund for erosion-control project at Curtis Park on Spectacle Lake.

Next meeting: Wednesday, June 15 (9 a.m.), with the annual Board Picnic to follow.