Video shows plow driver and crew using old sled to rescue COVID-19 patient trapped by snow



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CAMAS, Wash. (KOIN) — New video shows how a snowplow driver and crew of city workers were able to rescue a stranded COVID-19 patient in a city outside Portland, Ore. during last week’s storm.

According to his wife, a man in his 50s had come down with the virus and was in “bad shape” on Feb. 15. That day, longtime City of Camas plow driver Scott Purkeypyle said he got a call from firefighters who needed his help immediately.

Purkeypyle and some City of Camas workers used the city’s largest blow and started clearing the man’s long and steep driveway. However, Purkeypyle says his plow got stuck for the first time in a quarter-century.

Instead of waiting around, the crew jumped out and hiked in the deep snow all the way to the top of the hill where the house was.

According to Purkeypyle, the COVID-19 patient was delirious and unable to walk, so his wife offered the group their old toboggan.

“They wanted us there, and I was glad to knock on that door,” said Purkeypyle. “I could see it in her eyes. We did the best we could; she said she had a sled out in the barn, and she said check on the sheep when we were there! So we did [and the] baby sheep were OK. [Then] we got [the man] all strapped in and away we rolled.”

Purkeypyle and his crew carefully slid the patient about 500 yards down the hill. They used ropes to make sure that the sled didn’t get away from them. An ambulance was waiting at the bottom of the driveway and could get the man to a hospital where he has been in quarantine since.

On Tuesday, the man told NewsNation affiliate KOIN he has since tested negative for the coronavirus and has left the hospital. His wife said she was incredibly grateful to Purkeypyle and everyone involved in the rescue.


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