Hospitals handle snow dangers

While the snow was a major inconvenience for most, those people charged with saving lives and providing vital services were truly put to the test.
“We got through it without danger to patients,” said Michael Hinck, spokesperson for MediSys, which includes Flushing, Jamaica, Peninsula and Brookdale Hospitals. “We were able to maintain operations, but it wasn’t easy. We have a really coordinated response, but it was tested more than before.”
Hinck said that even though the hospitals have their own plows to clear parking lots and paths, the machines “were called away from normal duty because ambulances were stuck.”
In fact, at times, he said, “multiple” ambulances were stuck responding to calls.
And patients that were discharged were unable to get home.
ER volume was down during the blizzard, he said, but patients were “still coming in,” and hospital staff “really stepped up.”
“There were a lot of heroic efforts by individuals,” he said, including the formation of a human chain to get supplies and even food into the hospitals.
For those 5,000 Queens seniors that depend on Citymeals-on-Wheels, privately funded through donations, deliveries took a “long, long time.”
Marcia Stein, spokesperson, said that there were no deliveries on Monday, December 27 because the “trucks could not get through at all.”
The following day, the agency, which serves 16,000 elderly, disabled and homebound every day in the borough, focused on getting food to the oldest and those who live alone.
Both northeast Queens – Bayside, Whitestone and College Point – as well as southwest Queens – Howard Beach and Ozone Park – were particularly hard hit, said Stein.
On Tuesday, they did not receive food at all, but by Wednesday, she said, “everyone was getting their meals.”