A group of local volunteers named, ‘Angels on Ice’ come to the rescue when hospital personnel are unable to drive to work due to icy road conditions.
The group picks up staff from four area hospitals in Northwest Arkansas, including Mercy Hospital in Rogers. The group has worked four winter storms so far this season.
Former Mayor of Rogers, Steve Womack, started the program in the winter of 2005. However, it became overwhelming for his staff; a separate group of peopled stepped in to help in 2008.
“The last thing you want to be told when you get to the ER is ‘Oh, I’m sorry my doctor couldn’t get here, ” said co-founder Jason Winchester. “The public has a faith, that when they show up here, someone is going to take care of them. We try to make sure those people are there to do that.”
The city of Rogers and Mercy Hospital gave them the name ‘Angels on Ice’ because when the weather makes roads dangerous, hospitals fill quickly.
“That’s when we really get our busiest because people are out and accidents happen,” said Sarah Masterson, Mercy Hospital registered nurse.
Masterson said it was the first time she used the service but has seen its impact on the hospital.
“It’s been such a blessing that we’ve had this service that people in the community are willing to help get our staff here so we can take care of everybody,” Masterson said.
Each volunteer uses their own personal cars and pays for their own gas. Winchester said the chapter hopes to become a non-profit organization to be able to fund-raise.
Winchester works for Janacek Remodeling who has employees who volunteer for the chapter. To be a volunteer, call Janacek Remodeling at 479-621-0565.