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Woodbury crew helps Regions-bound patient after ambulance breaks down

A Wisconsin ambulance en route to Regions Hospital Thursday night with a critical patient was disabled by an overheated engine near Woodbury, forcing the medics on board to evacuate the rig and wait for help from Woodbury Emergency Medical Services to finish the run.

A New Richmond medic radioed St. Croix County Dispatch at 6:43 p.m. that they were pulling their ambulance to the shoulder near Century Avenue on Interstate 94 because of a possible fire in the engine compartment.

Two minutes later, the crew reported that the rig was disabled, they'd evacuated the rig and they needed assistance from Woodbury personnel to continue transporting their ventilator-dependent patient.

Woodbury Fire Department personnel also responded, and at 6:52 p.m., the medic reported that the possible fire was out and they were requesting a wrecker from Jerry's Towing to pull the disabled rig back to RMF Auto Service in Hudson.

A spokesman at RMF said an upper radiator hose in the 2004 Ford truck failed, expelling the coolant and causing a cloud of steam. Repairs were expected to be completed before noon Friday.

A Woodbury ambulance completed the patient transport to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn.

The service's website says the New Richmond Area Ambulance Service has two other ambulances with the primary being a 2009 Chevrolet, and another secondary rig being a 1999 Ford. An older fourth unit -- a Ford Econo Van -- is used only at Cedar Lake Speedway.

No one at New Richmond Area Ambulance Service was immediately available for comment Friday morning.

Steve Dzubay

Steve Dzubay has been publisher at the River Falls Journal and Hudson Star Observer from 1995-2016. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. He previously worked as a reporter-photographer at small daily newspapers in Minnesota and is past editor of the Pierce County Herald and River Falls Journal.