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N.C. ambulance crew forced to abandon rig to reach patient

Beaufort EMS personnel had to move on foot during Tropical Storm Ophelia to reach a woman in labor

By Bill Carey

GLOUCESTER, N.C. — Beaufort Rescue and EMS personnel abandoned their ambulance during Tropical Storm Ophelia’s storm surge to reach a woman in labor.

Captain and Paramedic Perry McCormick said they were responding to stranded motorists due to the flooding and were diverted to assist Kendra Long, whose water had just broken, WNCT reported.

“Winds were probably blowing 40 plus maybe at a time, heavy wind and the surge were just coming onto the road,” McCormick said. “At that time, we couldn’t back up and there’s no way there’s no way to stop.”

Before they reached the woman, the ambulance became overwhelmed by the weather and the crew had to abandon it and proceed on foot to reach Long.

“We had to leave it, I mean, it’s the patient over the vehicle. I mean, that’s the end goal here,” said McCormick. 

Eventually, a high-water rescue truck reached the EMS crew and Long. After arriving at Carteret Healthcare, which had no power at the time, baby Laytham was born at 7 pounds, 4 ounces.