MINERVA - During the recent snow storm dubbed the "Christmas Blizzard" that dumped more than two feet of snow, paralyzing New York City, Essex County emergency squads responded and made the trip to lend a hand.
The state Department of Health Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) contacted Essex County EMS coordinator Patty Bashaw, requesting that ambulances and personnel be sent to New York City. Minerva EMS was among the many upstate New York to take on the request.
Cameron Dubay and Mike Corey, of Minerva traveled in ambulances from the towns of Willsboro and Essex to the Bronx, one of the hardest hit outer boroughs, to work 12-hour shifts.
"The snowstorm crippled emergency medical services there and resulted in roughly 1300 backed up 911 calls," Corey said.
Corey arrived in the Bronx at the Jacobi Medical Center at around 4 a.m., at which time he prepared for the start of a 6 a.m. shift.
"We helped to provide care, lifted stretchers and contributed to the transportation of patients to nearby hospitals," said Corey. "Unlike where I am from, people are generally no more than about 10 minutes via ambulance from the nearest hospital."
Corey observed the crippled state of the south Bronx, where the need for better ambulance service following the storm was great, side streets were either unplowed or had minimal plowing, and many cars lay buried under close to two feet of snow.
"Our first call was for an elderly man who was suffering from cardiac complications," said Corey. "All six calls that I assisted on were much like the calls we received in Essex County."
The calls throughout the day ranged from allergic reactions to snow related falls. The only complaint Corey could muster was language-related.
"I probably could have been more help if I had brushed up on my spanish," he said. "But, it was a good thing to do and I am thankful for the opportunity."