15 Ambulances Rescued

Erik Cronqvist Photo(Updated: 1:30 p.m.) City workers freed the last of 15 stranded ambulances Saturday, as they recovered from the overnight blizzard that trapped dozens of emergency vehicles.

Chief Administrative Officer Rob Smuts said during the worst of this weekend’s blizzard, between 10 p.m. Friday and 1 a.m. Saturday, the snow was so heavy that plows had to stop. In addition to plows, many emergency vehicles got stuck: seven fire engines, 27 cop cars, and 15 ambulances. A lot of civilian drivers got stuck, too.

“Pretty much everybody out there had to ditch,” Smuts said.

As of 1 p.m. Saturday, the city had rescued all the ambulances and fire engines, though some cop cruisers remained stuck, Smuts said.

Reader Rosa Vieira de Almeida reported that neighbors tried to shovel out an ambulance that was stuck at Chapel and Dwight streets late Friday night. Medics were trying to take a patient to the St. Raphael’s campus of Yale-New Haven Hospital.

“Chapel is supposed to be an evacuation route and this ambulance was completely stuck,” Vieira de Almeida wrote. “There were eight of us trying to dig the ambulance out but only got it to move a dozen feet forward. The ambulance had no tire chains and there was zero backup from emergency services. Fortunately, the patient was not in critical condition—in fact, he ended up dragging himself to St. Raphael’s in the snow.”

Vieira de Almeida sent in the top photo, taken by her husband Chapel and Dwight at 12:20 a.m. Saturday.

Erik Cronqvist PhotoA tow truck showed up and took the ambulance away shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday, Vieira de Almeida reported.


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