Operation Snowball Ensures Hospital is Staffed

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY -- Rockingham Memorial Hospital has a plan to make sure it's fully staffed, despite dangerous driving conditions. It's called Operation Snowball and it was a way for drivers to volunteer to drive hospital employees to work.

Wanda Hollen, an ER nurse, was grateful for the resources.

"I was very happy to find out last evening that Operation Snowball was going to be in effect today. I have never had to use it, but with the 100% chance that the snow was coming, I wanted to be prepared to be able to be at work," she said.

Harry Rawley is a member of the Ruritan Club in Bridgewater. He has a four wheel drive truck and signed up for the program.

"All morning I've been hauling employees of the hospital that couldn't get in from home, into the hospital," he said.

This was a relief for Leigh Dendy, a nurse who just moved to the Valley from Tennessee.

"I was a little concerned because I've never driven in the snow, ever," said Dendy.

Even experienced drivers were urged to stay off the roads.

"Once we got out on the road, I knew that I had done the right thing. Or I would have been one of those people on the side of the road, waiting for help."

Rawley said it was no trouble and even a little bit fun.

"It makes me feel good. I enjoy doing that and I like the snow too," he said.

RMH was fully staffed thanks to volunteers like Rawley.

"Just very grateful that we have volunteers that are willing to get out and help us get here. And ours even gave me his number and told me to call him when I was ready to go home," said Dendy.

Nurses were grateful for the option to stay safe.

"The roads are extremely slick and hazardous, and it was just great to have that. It was wonderful," said Hollen.

The nurse in charge tells us not everyone used the service. Nearly 30 nurses spent the night at the hospital to make sure they were there for their shift.

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