Fire Apparatus and National Guard Helping Snow-Bound Patients Get to Appointments

Patients needing important medical treatments such as kidney dialysis are being transported by fire truck and the National Guard as snow-covered roads continue to create hazardous driving conditions.

In Baltimore for example, the fire department and National Guard are traveling down rough roads to pick up patients and take them to Maryland Transit Administration vehicles, said spokesman Howard Libit.

The coordination is part of an ongoing effort to help city residents facing health challenges during the storm, Libit said. During the height of the blizzard, Libit said patients who did not need to be stabilized on stretchers were transported to hospitals in fire engines. In advance of the storm, city officials worked with dialysis patients to schedule any Saturday appointments on Friday.

Officials with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said the agency has asked providers to alert them about high-risk patients who need specialized medical services, said spokesman Chris Garrett. The providers coordinated with patients on Thursday and Friday to mitigate the need to get treatment in the immediate aftermath of the storm, he said.

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