It was 2 a.m., and Dr. Scott Witt had little time to act.
With the California wildfires being frequent and unpredictable, he had to be able to think on his feet, especially when the lives of premature babies were at stake.
Luckily, Dr. Scott Witt knew what to do when wildfires crept closer to the hospital where he worked.
On October 9, the Santa Rosa Wildfires were getting dangerously close to Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital where Dr. Witt is the director of the newborn intensive care unit. He had gotten the call from his unit that they were evacuating the hospital, and that meant the newborns there as well.
After telling his family to evacuate their own house, Witt tried making his way to the hospital.
“I left in my truck but couldn’t get very far because of the freeway at that time already had flames going across it.” Witt told FOX 2 News. In a situation like that, thinking on your feet is critical.
Instead of finding another way with his truck and possibly wasting precious time, Witt decided to think outside the box.
He returned to his house and brought out his BMW motorcycle to use to drive to the hospital.
According to Witt, this worked heavily to his advantage.
“In California you can split lanes,” Witt said. “So I just went through the middle of the lanes and got past everybody.” For most of the four miles, he was driving between the lanes of traffic and on the shoulder, saving him time and also possibly saving the lives of the babies.
Once he arrived to the hospital, he helped with the evacuation of eight premature babies. The entire evacuation took three hours due to the back-and-forth trips, but all babies were successfully and safely transported to another nearby hospital.
And his work wasn’t even done yet! After securing the babies, he had followed a different ambulance that was headed towards a different hospital, Santa Rosa Memorial. It was a dangerous trip as according to Witt, there were “power lines that were live that we had to roll over.”
The babies are now back at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, with things up and running again for them.
Now, Scott is being referred to as the “James Dean” of the hospital. That’s a pretty good compliment for a guy that just wanted to do his job.
“You gotta get done was has to be done,” he said.
Imagine having to think on your feet in a situation like this, let alone having to do it at 2 a.m. Scott Witt would probably agree that a doctor’s work is never done.