Cranbrook snow plower helps save senior

Vern Radloff rushed to assist first responders reach the woman who had fallen at her isolated home

CRANBROOK — A snowplow operator in southeastern British Columbia is being praised for his role in saving the life of an elderly woman.

Vern Radloff rushed to assist first responders in Cranbrook reach the 73-year-old who had fallen at her isolated home several days earlier, but had finally managed to reach her phone to call for help.

Radloff, a plow operator for the City of Cranbrook for nearly 30 years, says he couldn’t believe what awaited him at the rural property.

He says about 25 centimetres of untouched snow blanketed the meandering, 2.5-kilometre driveway leading to the house where the injured woman awaited rescue.

But within about 15 minutes Radloff had cleared a path for the ambulance and fire department, prompting an email to the city from an impressed fire chief, who says Radloff’s speedy response was vital to the successful rescue.

Chief Wayne Price says the patient was in poor condition when paramedics reached her and further delays could have led to a different outcome, but Radloff says it was all in a day’s work.

“If they need help, we go and help them. That’s always been the case for the city here,” he said.

And the plow operator didn’t stick around after his literal 15 minutes of fame.

“I just got out of there and let those guys continue on with their work.”

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