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Firefighters find innovative ways to respond to emergencies amidst snow

Fire District 7 first responders used outside the box thinking to transport a patient to the hospital on Wednesday, February 13, 2019.

By Heather Chadwick, Snohomish County Fire District 7 Public Information and Education Officer.

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 from February 8th to February 12th, 2019.

That amount of snow not only creates hazardous road conditions and additional dangers for citizens, but it has challenged how fire and emergency medical services crews have responded to emergencies.

On Wednesday, February 13th, 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 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 placed the patient comfortably in the inflatable kayak and brought him safely to the road where the medic unit was waiting to transport.

Crews then 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.

We are always striving to earn trust through action.

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