A Brooklyn woman who slipped and broke her ankle on Sunday had to wait 30 hours for the ambulance to show up after she called 911. The blizzard, and the city’s sub-optimal response to clearing it up, left cars and even emergency service vehicles stranded in the snow.
The woman lay on the floor while her family tried to make her comfortable with pillows, an improvised splint and some old weak pain meds. She cried out in pain every time someone tried to move her. Mostly she just lay on the floor weeping from the agony.
911 had a huge backup during the blizzard, reaching 1,300 calls at one point. The Fire Department tried to triage their response, prioritizing those in life-threatening situations first.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg acknowledged that ambulance drivers made a mistake in trying to drive on unplowed roads. Instead they should have stuck to paved roads and then reached victims by going on foot down snowy blocks.
Help arrived for the 58-year old at 2:30 am on Tuesday morning when three EMTs carried her out on a gurney down the unplowed street and over a snowbank. They themselves had just gotten off of being moored in an ambulance for 8 hours in the snow.
Woman waits 30 hours for ambulance in NYC blizzard [Newsday] (Thanks to Will!)