Mo. Dept. of Transportation helps ambulance through icy roads

Buchanan County EMS needed to transport a patient to the hospital, so a MoDOT truck cleared the road and led the way

By EMS1 Staff

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. —An ambulance that needed to transport a patient to the hospital had some help making it through the icy roads from the Department of Transportation.

News Press Now reported that Buchanan County EMS contacted the Missouri Department of Transportation and requested some help to navigate the poor road conditions.

“It was Buchanan County ambulance that contacted our maintenance supervisor that was on staff that night and said, ‘Hey, we really need to get down to the city and the roads are bad, can you help us out?’” MoDOT District Maintenance and Traffic Engineer Tonya Lohman said.

Paramedic Jace Drake said patients aren’t usually transported in inclement weather unless it’s an emergency situation.

“Our dispatch center takes into consideration road conditions,” he said. “We do have a policy that states if anytime there is snow or anything, we’ll suspend any out-of-town transfers unless they’re life-threatening. Ultimately, the call type itself was a life-threatening event. “

MoDOT came to the rescue and helped the ambulance make it to the hospital with four different trucks. 

“We sent a truck over and met them, my understanding is, at the hospital. Then, they followed our truck so they were right behind our plows so that we were able to clear the road for them and be treating it as well so it wasn’t slick,” Lohman said.

Officials said the trucks would take the ambulance as far as their route went, and then they would peel off and another MoDOT truck would take its place until the ambulance was at the hospital.

Lohman and Drake said this occurrence is rare, but they’re glad they got the patient to the hospital safely.

“I hope that the family understands that MoDOT kind of went out of their way. It may be a handshake agreement or an agreement between us but it doesn’t happen all the time. They went above and beyond,” Drake said.


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