Stories From the Road: First Responder Stories

Coordinator Mindy - "The Derecho"

November 14, 2023 Season 6 Episode 8
Stories From the Road: First Responder Stories
Coordinator Mindy - "The Derecho"
Show Notes Chapter Markers

“And the instant thought I had was, ‘I hope we don’t have catastrophic injuries. I hope we don’t have any deaths, because we are now on an island. The people to the west of us are being hit by this, people to the east of us are gonna be hit by this. To the south, to the north - they’re all being hit by this. We are on our own.’” – Coordinator Mindy

It’s been three years since the derecho swept through Iowa and, although the days following have since become a blur, Mindy vividly remembers the storm itself: the sickly green color of the sky, the tumbling temperature, and the pieces of corrugated steel peeling from the rooftops around her before becoming airborne. She also remembers the urgency of her work: the warning calls made to the communities in her jurisdiction, the reassurance delivered to coworkers with a calm she did not necessarily feel herself, and the focus brought to a flustered fire department.

Join former paramedic/firefighter and host Phil Klein, as he sits down with the podcast’s first emergency manager, Coordinator Mindy, who has spent 22 years in public service. Mindy discusses the work involved before, during, and after the derecho, how her concentration on the 17,000 people in her service area left her temporarily forgetting to take care of herself, and the important steps communities can take to make sure they are prepared for wind and weather disasters.

Thank you for listening! If you have a first responder story to share, please visit to learn more about how you can be a guest on an upcoming episode. 

The Independent Riot
Deep dives with experts and madmen into life's most interesting topics. If you're an...

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Support the show
(Cont.) Coordinator Mindy - "The Derecho"