As our region has been threatened with back to back snow storms, the efforts to keep our area accessible has proven to be challenging. Many residents in Snohomish County have seen 18 or more inches of snow over the last week. That amount of snow not only creates hazardous road conditions and additional dangers for citizens, but it has challenged how crews have responded to emergencies.
Last week crews were dispatched to a residence for a medical emergency in an area that was not accessible due to the excessive amount of snow that was on the road. Crews were not able to drive to the residence, rather they had to park on the main road and hike in to the patient. Once they reached the residence they found that the patient needed to be transport to the hospital. Firefighters were not be able to use their gurney due to the current conditions and had to think outside the box to get the patient to the medic unit.
One of Fire District 7’s engine crews responded in the support services truck that had a snow plow attached to the front and they brought an inflatable kayak, too. The crews were able to utilize the inflatable kayak as their gurney through the snow. Crews comfortably placed the patient in the inflatable kayak and brought him safely to the road where the medic unit was waiting to transport. Crews used the support services truck to plow an area for the medic unit to turn around.
Although the conditions proved challenging, the innovation and beyond the box thinking by the crews made it possible to still serve our citizens.