I call this story Devine Intervention
I was stationed in Vernon as a paramedic for the British Columbia Ambulance Service. At work and just before dark we had been watching the heavy snow falling and huddling from the cold winds. We were happy not to be on any call right then. That is when the phone rang and we were given a call for a motor vehicle accident in Westwold. In excellent road conditions about a 45 minute response time. Cautiously we set out with lights and sirens. It was snowing so hard and visibility was so poor I turned off the bright emergency lights. It felt like we were not moving in the snow. Where we were exactly on the road was difficult to see. Slow and steady with both of us straining to see any markers at the edge of the road.
Eventually we came upon a car stuck fast, up to the windshield in a big snow drift. It was not the accident we had been dispatched to. I saw the car engine was running as I approached the driver’s door. Inside were two people. Just got married that afternoon and were on the way to the Vancouver airport for a honeymoon trip. Wearing flower shirts and shorts they were scared and cold. They had called for a tow truck so I told them I was going to another accident and I was going to call the police to come get them. That they must be wary of asphyxiation from their still running motor.
We continued on to the first call and just west of Falkland we were cancelled and we were to return to the stuck car as the police couldn’t help for a few hours.
When we got back to the newlyweds the snow was now covering half of the door. We dug the snow away and found them very cold but still refused to come with us. The engine had stalled a while ago. I made a quick assessment of the situation and raising my right hand up I pronounced in the most instructive voice I had and said by the powers invested onto me by the province of British Columbia I hereby arrest you both and you must come with us. My partner looked at me with a look of disbelief but went along with my scheme and we put the two shivering sweethearts in the ambulance and took them to her parents’ home in Vernon. You know of course that at that time as a paramedic I did not have any such authority to arrest but, it worked and I got away with it.
Comment: Many people believe that ambulances can travel in any weather conditions regardless of how deep the snow is or how cold. Those brave women and men who are your paramedics deserve your extra efforts to make their responses to others in distress to be as safe as can be. Pull over and stop to allow them to pass. Thanks.