Ore. responders make transport during treacherous winter storm
By EMS1 Staff
PENDLETON, Ore. — First responders braved a winter storm and drove nearly 10 hours to transport a patient who was in need of surgery.
Firefighter-paramedic Melissa Griffin and firefighter-EMT Patrick Williamson, with Pendleton Fire and Ambulance, were dispatched to transport a patient who suffered a broken femur and needed surgery Jan. 17. A hospital requested the department transport the patient to another hospital due to the patient’s specialized needs. The patient’s femur had broken near the attachment of her artificial hip.
“They needed a specialist to connect the parts that were artificial with the real bone that was broken,” Pendleton Fire Chief Mike Ciraulo told the East Oregonian.
However, a large snow storm prompted officials to shut down a large portion of the interstate. State officials permitted the department to make the transport.
Griffin and Williamson kept in constant contact with department officials along the way. Ice covered much of the freeway and covered part of the ambulance’s windshield.
At one point, state police forced the vehicle off the interstate, after black ice caused two vehicles further ahead to crash. Griffin and Williamson decided to transport the patient to a nearby hospital to restock the ambulance’s oxygen supply and declining pain medication.
After nearly two hours at the hospital, the crew took an alternate route to complete the transport. They arrived at the hospital around 1 a.m. on Jan. 18. Williamson and Griffin slept for four hours at a hotel before making the trek home.
“I’m just so proud of them,” Chief Ciraulo said.
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