The best never rest

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UAB Recreation Center covered in snowWinter Storm 2014 brought the worst — ice, snow, wrecks, delays, overnight sleepovers in offices or the Campus Rec Center, stranded employees and students on roads in and around Birmingham. It was, in fact, misery.

Know what else it was? Revealing.

The storm’s worst brought out the best in UAB and its neighbors.

Rain, sleet and snow may have stopped postal workers, but members of the extended UAB community were dedicated to helping one another and never wavered in that mission. Here are just a few of the good works we witnessed:

• Let’s start with untold amounts of generosity. Strangers helping strangers. They pushed some cars up hills and helped move others to the side of the road. They helped them find a warm place to rest, something hot to eat, a plug to charge their phones and endless answers to the question, “How do I get to …?”

• The Emergency Department was in top form while a Wall Street Journal reporter watched. Eleven nurses never left in the first 48 hours. And the patients continued to come. From motor-vehicle accidents. Icy falls. And more. UAB Hospital nurses, doctors and health-care professionals rotated shifts and rested in scattered places when they could.

• UAB Dining staff prepared three hot meals a day for the stranded with — or in spite of — some cooking help from Harlan Sands, Andy Marsch, and other employees and students. Bacon and eggs never tasted so good.

• Lots of employees were stuck on campus, some with family. The internationally renowned Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Ed Partridge was entrusted to ensure his grandkids were safe and sound. Or was that the other way around?

• And, oh, baby. Birmingham Police came to the rescue of one family overnight when Darshay Jones went into labor shortly after midnight Wednesday. The ambulance wrecked on its way to her, and Byron Dobbins had to deliver his little girl at 2:18 a.m. The police transported mom and baby to the Women & Infants Center, and Central Alabama helped the family name the 6-pound, 13.5-ounce bundle of joy — Wynter Mariah Dobbins. Watch ABC 33/40's report here.

• Anthropologist Sarah Parcak hiked back to campus Wednesday to keep a live interview in the Media Relations studio with BBC Radio because, well, local news in the UK isn’t covering this Birmingham’s snowpocalypse.

• The need to get information out didn’t stop. My also-stranded co-workers continued to field media inquiries that helped keep city residents informed, even participating in a live television interview on Fox 6 at 1 a.m. Wednesday morning.

• And good neighbors? We got them. Several local restaurants stayed open in the chaos Tuesday night, some not even charging full prices. One Media Relations staffer who tried to tell a manager at Southside’s Red Zone the bill wasn’t high enough was told, “We’re just trying to make enough money to pay the three who are cooking and serving.”

• FIGHT! Ah, yes. You can’t have two inches of snow on the Campus Green and not see students pelting one another with snowballs. The Green was crowded Tuesday afternoon. But by Wednesday, we were all were ready for the sun to melt it away. See the photo gallery, courtesy UAB Digital Media, College of Arts and Sciences.

Tell us about your team
If you and your team were here keeping UAB running while the city was at a standstill, let us know. Tell us what you did. Send photos if you have them. We’d like to hear all of your stories. We also know weather events aren’t the only times our faculty and staff master extraordinary circumstances to ensure our mission is accomplished. We encourage you to share those throughout the year. Thanks for all you do.

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