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St. Luke’s Blogs

Snow removal across St. Luke's a team effort to help keep patients and employees safe

Snow removal at St. Luke's Magic Valley.
By Kelly Franson, News and Community
January 19, 2024

One storm after another has kept plows and shovels in constant motion throughout much of southern and western Idaho this month.

As residents repeatedly have shoveled driveways and highway departments cleared roads, grounds crews at St. Luke’s hospitals have been very busy to make sure patients and staff members have the safe access that is necessary to urgent health care.

Many schools were canceled for multiple days, the public was warned not to travel, if possible, but that’s not an option for many in health care.

“We coordinated ahead of time … to make sure our staff would be in place to care for our patients,” said Amy Bradley, director of nursing and patient care at St. Luke’s Magic Valley. “Some of our nurses who travel from out of town were able to stay with friends or co-workers or even at nearby hotels.” 

While Twin Falls ended up with more wind than snow inside the city limits, travel was treacherous in many parts of the Magic Valley with several highways closed at times due to drifting snow and whiteout conditions.

In Boise, 21.9 inches of snow fell between Jan. 6 and 17, according to the National Weather Service. Just in that span, it would qualify as the seventh-snowiest month ever recorded in Idaho’s largest city and home to St. Luke’s.

Magic Valley assistant nurse manager Dani Nunnally pitched in to help with the piling snow, grabbing a shovel in her scrubs!

“Our grounds crews do an amazing job and have been working tirelessly to clear snow and keep our parking lots and sidewalks safe for patients and employees,” Bradley said.

But even the most tireless of crews sometimes need a little help, and they found it as the heaviest snow hit between the weekend of Jan. 13 and 14.

“We would like to say thank you to the many employees that helped us combat the heavy snow,” said Todd Rothfuss, manager of building services at St. Luke’s Magic Valley. “Security teams, ER staff, our Environmental Services crews along with my hospital staff took on extra work and we managed to keep access to the hospital open… All it took was a couple of phone calls for support, and the staff jumped in.”

While the crews were too busy clearing snow to measure the exact amount that fell at the hospital, Twin Falls residents measured 7 inches of fresh snow. Clean up work continued over the next three days, just in time for, yes, more snow.

On Jan. 17, found the St. Luke’s grounds crews hard at work yet again, with some staff members arriving extra early to get a jump start on another 3 to 5 inches of snow.

“We had people here at 3 a.m. to start clearing snow,” said Ron Lambert, supervisor of building services at St. Luke’s Jerome. “My crew got busy with the plows and some of our nursing staff even grabbed shovels to help us out since we couldn’t be everywhere at once.

“My team are real drift busters — they show up early when the snow is flying and stay until the work is done. (It’s a) great team for St Luke's and it’s a privilege to be part of their team.”

It wasn’t uncommon to see people in scrubs with shovels at other St. Luke’s locations as well, making sure sidewalks were clear for patients making their way into the buildings.

“It’s been amazing to see the team effort,” Bradley said. “No matter the job title, our employees step up to do whatever they can to care for our community.”

About The Author

Kelly Franson is the public relations manager at St. Luke's Magic Valley.