IN AN EMERGENCY, CALL 911

The Hartford Courant

By JESSE LEAVENWORTH, leavenworth@courant.com

MANCHESTER — Read the whole article here…Private ambulance providers had similar difficulties. Prevented from close access to many homes, medics had to carry patients, in some cases for 100 yards or more, through thigh-deep snow, Dave Skoczulek, spokesman for Ambulance Service of Manchester and Aetna Ambulance Service, said Monday.

Ambulances mired on roadsides and stuck in deep snow banks had to be pulled out with a four-wheel drive paramedic intercept vehicle. Total calls were less than normal, Skoczulek said, “but each call was typically more severe and took much, much more effort and much longer to complete.”

At the height of the storm, a patient with chest pains had to be taken from Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. A physician arranged for a plow to escort the ambulance, and there were many other stories of plows paving the way for emergency medical personnel, Skoczulek said.

Another crew in a heavy ambulance equipped with tire chains could not make it over impassable roads with a critical care patient aboard, Skoczulek said. The crew got help from Manchester police and residents, who came over with shovels and snowblowers, he said. Eventually, a backhoe from Ansaldi Construction winched the ambulance back onto a cleared road surface, Skoczulek said.