Toyota Offers New Tundra to Nurse Who Shuttled Patients During California Wildfires
Allyn Pierce and his colleagues risked life and limb (and his beloved Tundra) to save stranded patients.
Update, 9:21am: A Toyota spokesperson confirmed to The Drive that the claim made on social media is accurate, and the automaker will offer Pierce a brand-new truck.
Allyn Pierce oversees the Intensive Care Unit at a hospital in Paradise, California where recent wildfires have wreaked havoc over the past several days. Pierce and his colleagues are now being praised for working diligently to ensure the safety of their patients, going as far as destroying the nurse's Toyota Tundra in the process of transporting people to safety. Much to everyone's surprise, the official Toyota account on social media is claiming it will offer Pierce a new Tundra for his heroic actions.
Pierce bravely battled the flames not once, but twice, as he drove through the fire to ferry people to safety. At one point, the Tundra became stuck in gridlock traffic and was unable to move. Cars around the nurse had been evacuated and abandoned in order to preserve the occupants' safety, however, created a condition in which Pierce could not move forward and he ultimately did not expect to survive.
He accepted what he thought was his fate, recorded a message to his family on his phone, and tuned the radio to Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" as the fire began to reach the passenger side of the Toyota.
Suddenly, recalls Pierce, as he held his coat up to the truck's window in an attempt to shield himself from the heat, a bulldozer appeared out of nowhere and cleared the traffic, enabling Pierce to make his way back to the hospital.
After gathering supplies from the facility, Pierce and his colleagues worked to set up a triage in the facility's parking lot to aide members of the community, comprised heavily of retirees. Eventually, the building caught fire and forced the mobile operation to move a few hundred yards away to the hospital's helipad while emergency workers cleared a path to safety. The team of nurses and doctors then loaded those in need into their personal vehicles and escorted them out of the flames in safety.
“We're terrible at burning to death," joked Pierce. "But we're amazing at taking care of people.”
To give an idea on just how harsh conditions were, below is a video showing the remnants of Pearson Road; a stretch of pavement only two miles from the hospital where Pierce worked.
Eventually, Toyota heard of the nurse's brave sacrifice and offered to give him a brand new Tundra, which is a small shed of light for the nurse who had just lost his job, his home, and almost his life in just a few short hours.
Though his truck will be replaced, Pierce is now without a job and home, both of which burned down as a result of the wildfires. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for the nurse, soliciting donations to commend him for his efforts and aide him in his time of need. At the time of writing, a combined total of 44 lives have been lost as a direct result of the simultaneous wildfires, making it the most deadly in the state's history.