Behind the barbed wire
BY ALYSSA MEIER
As turmoil around the Dakota Access Pipeline slowly subsides, local EMTs are sharing their stories from inside the law enforcement camp south of Mandan.
Members of the Washburn Volunteer Ambulance Service spent several days this winter manning the law enforcement camp near the protest site of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Now that things have calmed down, they’ve been given the go-ahead to shed some light on the reality of the situation.
Members of the ambulance crew who went to the site agreed that the scale of the site and the amount of equipment and personnel available was surprising.
“My first impression when we pulled up to the LE camp was indescribable -- from the barricades, razor fences, hundreds of LE vehicles, National Guard, nurses, paramedics, EMTs, hospital, and a diner,” Washburn EMT Emily Retterath said of the site, which she visited for the first time on Thanksgiving. “The amount of resources that we had at the camp were absolutely incredible.”
Parker Pochant said the camp, referred to as the Forward Operating base, looked like a little city and that he was blown away by the number of vehicles.
“Rough estimate, about 75-100. The majority of them were ND Highway Patrol, but the others were from all over the place,” Pochant said.