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First responders not letting snow get in way of saving lives: “We’ll be there.”

(WBNG) — Plans to perform efficient health care in the expected heavy snow have been underway since early this week at Lourdes Hospital and Union Volunteer Emergency Squad.

“Hospitals can’t close,” said Lourdes CFO, Sean Mills.

Mills was working with staff to develop a plan during a time where travel may be difficult with accumulating snow.

“It’s all about planning,” sad Mills. “Right now we’re reaching out to staff who will be filling shifts over the next 24-48 hours.”

Mills said staff know that they have an obligation to serve the hospital and patients even in terrible weather conditions. They are reminded to check the weather, extended shifts, come in earlier, some even stay over at the hospital.

“We actually have policies in place where we inform our staff of their obligation to support the hospital,” explained Mills.

He also said staff  was working on snow removal and will continue to do so into the weekend so ambulances can come in and out.

“We’re one big family and we help each other out whether it’s shoveling, salting, getting that patient out,” explained Union Volunteer Emergency Squad Deputy Director of Operations, Amy Polhamus.

“A storm like this, time is of the the essence,” said Polhamus.

During heavy snow, Polhamus explained how emergency crews have to shovel their way to get to the patient, explaining that’s why their vehicles have shovels and salt.

“One person’s in with the patient, they’re just going to have to truck through the snow up to the patient while their partner is shoveling a path for us,” explained Polhamus.

There’s also been times where a sled has been used to get the patient from their home into the ambulance.

“We walk in that door and we know our life’s on the line no matter what,” explained Polhamus. “Two feet of snow we’ll get to you.”

Polhmaus said crews are trained to drive in snow and ice, and they check over the equipment and tires routinely.  Tarps, blankets, and mylar blankets are used to keep the patient warm while being transferred into the ambulance.

They said snow may slightly delay travel, but it doesn’t keep them from saving lives.

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Michael Schwartz

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