My Turn: Tahoe City and Caltrans Bob rock
Greetings to the residents of Tahoe City. I wanted to take a moment and tell you how lucky you all are to have such a wonderful fire department and business community.
My wife and 4-year-old son stayed in your great town on Feb. 26. I was unable to go due to health and work-related problems. Neither of us anticipated the severity of the storm or she would never have attempted the trip. We don’t believe in putting ourselves in harm’s way and then having others come to our rescue, but unfortunately, that is exactly what happened and we’ll forever regret it.
Upon arriving in Tahoe City, my wife was forced to park her car on the street and walk to her hotel because there was no parking available for her in the hotel lot.
As expected, when she went to move her car to the parking lot the next morning, the car was completely covered with snow. After learning her planned ski lessons for our son was canceled due to the storm and learning she was stranded for longer than she had prepared for, the buried car was almost too much to bear. As she stood by, helpless to do anything in the pouring snow, Chief Whitelaw of the Tahoe City Fire Department showed up. He could see my was desperate and assured my wife she would get the help she needed to get her car out.
Within a half our, two fire trucks and two tractors were on-scene, and firefighters digging my wife’s car out in the middle of the storm. My wife stood in her hotel room and cried while those men froze outside, helping a stranger in need. She felt horrible and very grateful at the same time. Within short order, the firemen had used their cunning skills and pushed my wife’s car out of the snow. They even parked it in the lot for her and brought her the keys.
My wife was able to calm down for rest of her stay in Tahoe City. She met many nice people who treated her kindly. And she loved the meat loaf and atmosphere at Rosie’s Restaurant. Chief Whitelaw even called her and checked on her.
My wife left Tahoe City on Feb. 27. As she approached Exit 160 on Interstate 80, she got a flat tire and was stuck again. It was too dangerous for her to change her own tire and all efforts to get road service to respond failed. That’s when Bob from Caltrans pulled in behind my wife to check on her. Within 15 minutes he had my wife back on the road and out of harm’s way.
Bob would not give his last name because he wanted no recognition. Bob, you’re a hero in my book. My wife was in harm’s way and you did what I couldn’t do. Thank you!
The kindness of these people touched both us and there is simply no way to express our gratitude. The best I can do is share this story with people who read your paper. You have a special town with special people, and you are looked after and protected by one of the finest fire departments in the country. Thanks to all of the firefighters who froze while digging my wife’s car out of the snow in the middle of a blizzard, and to the other firefighters who took their calls for service so they were free to help. To those in your community who made my wife and my son feel welcome, you have my sincere gratitude.
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