Area Hospitals And Emergency Responders Mimic "Pony Express"

By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

February 1, 2011 Updated Feb 1, 2011 at 7:01 PM EDT

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - "Be prepared" is the motto of the Boy Scouts.

But area hospitals and emergency responders are adopting it in light of the intimidating blizzard taking aim on Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio.

Noontime Tuesday, Parkview Hospital North was conducting business as usual.

A break in the snowfall left emergency room staff with nothing to do, temporarily.

But with the storm bearing down on the region, Parkview spokesperson John Perlich says the hospital has left no stone unturned in preparing for the worst.

Staff stockpiled food supplies in advance, a necessity when system-wide you manage 777 beds for patients with different dietary demands.

When day shift doctors and nurses arrived for work in the morning, they knew they might be in place for the long haul.

John Perlich/Parkview Hospital Spokesman: " Those professionals are prepared to stay throughout the storm and provide that care, because there may be a shift that's ready to come on board that they can't get here due to the weather."

Perlich says the hospital won't step in and cancel elective surgeries, but no one will complain if the patient asks for a delay.

Perlich: " That's certainly fine with us, we want to make sure that everyone is comfortable with each individual situation."

Jeff Neumeyer: " The bad roads not only make it hard for cars to get through, but for ambulances as well. Three Rivers Ambulance Authority is making special plans for its units to be able to navigate through the blizzard conditions."

On a normal weekday evening, TRAA staffs five ambulances.

As many as 14 could be on duty this night.

Jim Berger/Three Rivers Ambulance Authority: " If we have more trucks out, that will just put us closer to the runs and closer to where the people are, crucial when you consider response times will be slower."

Berger says TRAA has at least 4 four-wheel drive vehicles that figure to be employed until life returns to normal.

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