CINCINNATI — Police and firefighters from CVG Airport and Cincinnati raced against time to make a life-saving delivery from the airport to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Wednesday evening.
Their task: drive a much-needed organ donation from the airport to Children's during a snowstorm that snarled traffic on local interstates for hours.
Watch dashcam footage of the delivery below:
CVG firefighter and EMT Jason Baumann was cooking in the station kitchen when he got the text from his captain: An unexpected delivery was about to arrive.
“He told me the situation, that a plane had to make a diverted landing to Cincinnati, and we had to get some doctors and a cooler with organs in it to Children’s Hospital for transplant surgery,” he said.
By then, snow had already fallen quickly across the area, covering major roads and highways more quickly than snow removal crews could keep up, resulting in major traffic backups.
“We left at 5:10, right at the height of rush hour, and with all that snow -- horrible conditions,” he said.
Still, Baumann hopped in a CVG pickup truck with medical staff and the organ. He and other firefighters had to coordinate with dispatchers to plot the fastest way from the Hebron, Kentucky, airport to the Avondale hospital with highways gridlocked. Cincinnati officers said Burnet Avenue, Vine Street and Highland Avenue were clogged with traffic caught in snow and ice by rush hour.
CPD officers said the hardest part was flying blind. They couldn't communicate with some other vehicles helping to escort the delivery, but they found each other and fell in as surrounding traffic moved to make room.
The first responders had two hours to make the delivery. Baumann and his police escorts made it to the hospital in one hour and five minutes.
After driving the crucial delivery, the 11-year EMT with three years at CVG said he got back to the station, recounted to his fellow first responders what happened and ate the dinner he had been preparing before he got the fateful call.
"They put me a plate in the microwave," he joked. "That's just part of the job; you don't get to eat on time a lot."
"Cincinnati Children’s is grateful and thankful to the Cincinnati Police Department, CVG Fire Department and the pilots who helped out amid difficult conditions," spokesperson Shannon Kettler said.
UPDATE: click the video to hear more about the successful delivery of organs from @CVGairport to Children’s Hospital last night in the snow storm. It was a full team effort between CVG fire/PD & CPD. Thanks to the citizens who moved out of the way to make room for us on the roads pic.twitter.com/7NinkzGUDz— Cincinnati Police Department (@CincyPD) February 11, 2021