Emergency Responders Battle Elements To Help Patients

By Jeff Neumeyer

February 10, 2014 Updated Feb 10, 2014 at 6:30 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21ALIVE) --- Making up for lost time is an issue for emergency responders who are finding it difficult to maneuver around snow piled up across Fort Wayne.

Housing additions, apartment complexes and homes on side streets, they are all tough to reach right now, given the cumulative effect of multiple snowfalls.

We dropped in at the headquarters for Three Rivers Ambulance Authority Monday on Hayden Street.

Officials there say they've put more units on the street to try and counter slower response times due to the restricted access they face on emergency runs.

In some cases, administrative staff members have followed ambulances on runs, armed with snow shovels to try and clear sidewalks and porches, and to get units that are stuck moving again.

The same kind of headaches are being dealt with by city police.
“When we're responding to a residential street that hasn't been touched and you're looking at 8, 9 inches of snow plus on the streets, it's difficult for us to get there in a timely basis," said police spokesperson Mike Joyner.

Jared Crotty with Three Rivers Ambulance Authority, or TRAA, says city plows have at times had to be summoned to get an ambulance unit out of a snow drift or snow bank.

The bigger issue comes when an ambulance gets stuck en route to an emergency call.

If you lose even a minute or two in response time, depending upon the nature of the emergency, it could be a big deal.

Hopefully, some controlled melting will be happening soon to usher in relief from the problem.

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