NEWS | Feb. 16, 2021

Oklahoma National Guard partnered with OHP to assist motorists in winter weather

By Pfc. Emily White 145th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

The Oklahoma Army National Guard, in partnership with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, responded to severe weather conditions in Stranded Motorist Assistance Recovery Teams (SMART) made up of nearly 90 Soldiers.

“Our mission is to retrieve stranded motorists and move them to a safe, dry location,” said Spc. Parker Sargent, an electrician with the 2120th Engineer Company, 120th Engineering Battalion, 90th Troop Command, Oklahoma Army National Guard.

On Sunday and Monday, Guard members responded to nearly two dozen call for assistance. During their missions, Guardsmen helped motorists with everything from changing a blown tire to providing on-scene medical care to hurt citizens.

“We helped an individual with a hand injury who had punched a window to pull someone out of a vehicle because it was on fire,” said Sgt. Josh Jacox, 2120th Engineer Company. “Spc. Sargent took him into our vehicle and gave him basic first aid and pulled the glass out of his hand.”

The Oklahoma National Guard stands ready to take action in any circumstance, even harsh storms.

“These are unprecedented cold temperatures. The visibility when driving our vehicles is challenging in these situations,” said Staff Sgt. Josh Jacox, 2120th Engineer Company. “It is definitely different from what we are used to, but we are ready to respond and help.”

A wide variety of jobs ranging from builders to electricians worked in conjunction with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol to accomplish their mission.

“If there are electrical problems in stranded motorist’s vehicles, I can pinpoint the problem and do my best to assist,” said Sargent, an electrician with the 2120th Engineer Company.

The eight National Guard teams stationed in the vicinity of Chickasha, Clinton, Perry, Woodward, Ardmore, Checotah, Stroud, and Vinita, each have a stretch of interstate to cover.

“This is why I joined the Guard,” said 1st Lt. Addam Orsburn, member of 2120th Engineer Company and officer in charge of the Stroud (Oklahoma) SMART. “I wanted to help my fellow citizens here in the State of Oklahoma.”