Thursday, January 26, 2023
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How a stranger helped three Buffalo nurses get to work during the historic storm

Courtesy of Ally Maderer

(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — When the historic Buffalo, New York, storm stranded nurses at home, they turned to a stranger in a snowmobile club to give them an unconventional ride to work.

Ally Mederer, an ICU nurse at Buffalo General Medical Center, spent days trapped in her house during the deadly storm.

“I’ve lived in Buffalo my whole life,” she told ABC News. “I have never seen anything to this extent.”

But while Mederer was at home, some of her coworkers were stuck at the hospital.

“They had worked anywhere from 50 to 60 hours straight with minimal relief in the hospital, so we just felt awful for them,” she said.

Mederer’s colleague turned to social media, asking if someone had a way to help three nurses get to work.

She said they found a man who was a friend of one of the nurse’s dads. He was in a snowmobile club and had a “snow groomer” machine, which can shape trails for snowmobiles.

The nurses agreed to the unusual ride.

“We were like, ‘Whatever it takes, let’s get there,'” Mederer said.

“We obviously were a little nervous,” she added. “Until we actually physically got there, I didn’t think that there was any way it was going to happen. Even by the time we got picked up in the snow groomer, we weren’t sure what we were going to see on the streets — none of us had been out.”

Once they arrived at the hospital, she said “our coworkers were just ecstatic” to have the chance to go home.

“They had been working so many hours painlessly with no break, and they needed people to come relieve them, and they needed to try and get home to their loved ones,” Mederer said.

Mederer said she’s grateful for her Buffalo neighbors who are coming to one another’s aid.

“There are so many people out there right now like Rich McNamara, the one who drove the snow groomer. They’re literally putting their lives at stake for random strangers like me,” she said.

Buffalo “really is the city of good neighbors,” Mederer said.

ABC News’ Caroline Rotante contributed to this report.

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