Two Virginia emergency medical personnel were on their way to from call on Friday when they were suddenly caught in a tornado.
Franklin County medics Bryan Ferguson and Billy Akers were returning from a call and were heading back to base when they the tornado touched down.
“We were returning from Martinsville. We were headed to our main office in Rocky Mount. We had heard of the weather alerts and were monitoring the situation,” Ferguson said.
Suddenly, they received a chilling message over the radio.
“Attention, all units. Attention, all units. Be advised we are currently in a tornado warning until 11 o’clock in this area. Again: tornado warning until 11 o’clock.”
“As we were coming up the road, we were looking out towards the west, towards where the storm activity looked like it was coming from, thinking it was further away and just watching,” Ferguson said. “Next thing you know, we’re running right into it.”
In mere seconds, the ambulance was hit with a buckshot-like barrage of debris, which bent mirrors, dented the body and shook the ambulance as if it weighed nothing.
“It just happened so quick that I was like, ‘OK, we just went through a tornado or a tornado just went through us,’” Akers said.
According to WSLS, the two regained their composure and radioed dispatch.
“Two-twenty northbound. Heavy damage. Our vehicle’s out of the road. We did sustain damage to our vehicle. We are 10-4. The unit not so much. We’re going to be out checking other vehicles,” Ferguson could be heard saying over the radio.
The two medics dismounted and checked other vehicles, eventually finding an injured man and ensuring he was transported to the hospital. His injuries were non-life-threatening.
“I just bowed my head and thanked the Almighty. I said, ‘Thank you for keeping us safe.’ And that’s when we went to work,” Akers said. “Didn’t really take time to, you know, dwell about it. We had a job and just went to it.”
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