As a battering snowstorm stranded ambulances and hundreds of 911 calls piled up unresolved, Annie O’Daly knew she might have to wait for help after slipping and breaking her ankle on Sunday night.
She didn’t think she’d be waiting for 30 hours.
Help finally arrived at the 58-year-old woman’s Brooklyn home Tuesday morning at 2:30 a.m., said her husband, Jim Leonhardt, who described her ordeal. Three emergency medical technicians — themselves recovering from being stranded earlier in an ambulance for eight hours — and Leonhardt carried her out on a gurney onto the unplowed street, wheeled her down the block and lifted her over a snowbank, he said.
O’Daly was among hundreds of New Yorkers left waiting for help during the blizzard and its aftermath, as emergency responders grappled with snow-clogged streets, many blocked by cars that had been abandoned mid-storm. At one point, 911 operators had a backlog of 1,300 calls.
Dozens of ambulances got stuck in the storm, and on Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said ambulance drivers probably erred in driving on unplowed roads. Instead, they should have stayed on cleared roads and walked down snowy streets to respond to calls, he said.
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