Thursday , May 26 2022

A nurse directs between flames to save lives in California


By time Allyn Pierce reached her work on Thursday morning, the sky in Paradise, California, was a horrible shade of burning orange, which was fractured by fog. Fire had started in the area hours earlier, and the flames broke through the Butte County city on a scary scale. Now, at 8 am, they were threatening the Adventist Health Plate Hospital, where Pierce worked as the nurse manager and manager of the UCI.

Pierce and his team agreed quickly to help the dozens of patients in hospital to be avoided by an ambulance. At 9:30, he and two colleagues were among the last ones to move out. They arrive in a white Toyota Tundra collection truck and set to the right for less than a mile, then to the east.

Read more: The Fire Camp is already the most dead fire in California's history

Pierce had bought Tundra the previous year and spent a lot of relaxation weekends and adapted to his "dream truck". Months later, it included wheelchairs and larger tires, better restraint, a new grid and an excellent race over the car. Clearing a metal of panda, having welded the vehicle, has removed the name and nickname: "The Pandra."

Now, Pierce was counting on the "Pandra" to pull out of a burning city safely.

Soon, he saw himself standing in a line of vehicles as the flames were consumed on the one side of the wood to Pearson Road. A vehicle is left on fire stops it to the left.

In an attempt to calm his passengers, Pierce gave the audio track to "Deadpool 2," skip Celine Dion "Ashes." "I said right, let's not hear it" – and choose "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel, they sing with each other.

Inside, however, Pierce was panicling.

"I was calm because I'm a nurse and that's what we do," Pierce told The Washington Post in a telephone interview. "But I was scared … I thought I was going to die."

From its scope, the smoke grew earlier until they barely saw fire truck contours standing to the right. Two Pierce colleagues bought a refuge with the fire department, which put protective blankets over the windows. ("That's when I knew the situation was bad," said Pierce).

Back to hospital

Pierce took a shadow in his beloved Pandra, only. In the distance, he could hear propane tanks that explode; He was watching cars burning from his room, "as if they were made of wood or something." The air at the moment has changed from fierce red to almost gray neon as flames reach the sides of its truck.

Pierce tried to use her jacket as a shield for the oppressive heat. He recorded a small farewell video for his wife and two children, then he pushed his cell phone into anything he could find in the weak hope that the fire would not be damaged. Then he stopped.

He then sent an unexpected noise to him.

"This tractor came out of nowhere," said Pierce, "and took the lifting truck that was on fire by my side."

After stunning, Pierce stepped out of her seat – and went her way back to hospital. Until today, he does not know exactly why, although he believes that the departure of his family of the city that morning has improved his ability to think clearer.

I was surprised, the hospital was still standing, about an hour after its initial exhaust. In addition, a few dozen firefighters, police officers and other emergency officers gathered there and looked after patients who had just arrived from the area.

In pictures: California lives one of the worst fires in its history

Pierce and others at the hospital to collect supplies and establish an outside screening area. The parking was then similar to an emergency room, with food, wheel pockets, extensions, wheelchairs, and a waiting area.

"That part was easy," said Pierce. "That's what we train."

For several hours, the group treated patients suffering from breathing of smoke to more serious problems. At one time, the hospital itself was a fire and had to move operations further to the helipad. Around both in the afternoon, the fire department said the roads were cleared again and that they could try to move out the second time.

Working together

"My real lesson in this regard was to see how everyone worked with each other," said Pierce. "It was a full ego lack. There was no discussion."

Pierce returned to her truck, and now traveled to the hospital district. The second caravan was able to leave the city without problems.

When he joined his family, his children were in tears.

"They ran into the truck and cried," Pierce said. "They did not know how we would."

Only later Pierce could look closely at the damage to the vehicle: the heat had welded one of the rear doors until it was closed. Back rotation is partially melted – although the lights themselves are still working. Parts of the boned were deformed, and the white doors that were shaped once were raised in a gradient, marshmallow toast

Pierce posted a photo of the vehicle on Instagram and, making a joke, added the hashtag #perfect red.

"This truck literally saves my life today," Pierce wrote in the heading. "My Paradise Paradise town was burning around me literally and @the_pandra took me a safe place where we can help others … twice."

Days later, Toyota's official account to Pierce responded to the Instagram and said they would "honor" to give him a brand new Trandra choice.

"We found the story on social networks over the weekend," said the Toyota spokesman, Nancy Hubbell, at the Washington Post. "We quickly came to the conclusion that we needed to replace the truck. He was a hero and we needed to do that."

Pierce knows the distribution of the "hero" label is almost like a cliché, but it's fast to credit the team that worked with her.

"Everyone calls us heroes. I will not refuse, I do not want the only one who was designated as a hero," said Pierce. "I was with so many beautiful people, it was just incredible. It was great to be part of that."

Although Pierce says her family is lucky enough to have relatives in nearby areas with whom to stay, her heart is heavy with the destruction of her city and those who need help.

From Wednesday, 48 people have died at the Fire Camp, which is considered to be the biggest death in California's history. Authorities expect that number to increase as they scourge the remains of the fire in their journey through Paradise.

"It started as a beautiful sunny day, and then everything came to hell," said Pierce. "I wake up in the morning sometimes destroy. I'm going to sleep and I'm seeing a fire. I'm ready to finish this."

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