Hospitals prepare for blizzard conditions - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hospitals prepare for blizzard conditions

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- No matter the weather, some people have to work. For emergency responders and hospital employees, that's certainly true, and they're preparing for Tuesday's storm now.

"I remember having to walk to Finley from my home over on Moore Heights over about a mile or so because the roads weren't clear," retired Doctor John S. Chapman said.

Chapman is 13 years retired, but he clearly remembers he and other hospital staff coming to work in the winter. He recalls bad storms in the 60s and 80s where they had to get creative.

"These snowmobilers were a wonderful asset. The snowmobile club, and they used to carry blood specimens and blood and plasma from one hospital to another, specimens to the lab, things like that," Chapman said.

Finley Hospital has a snow and ice emergency plan when there's heavy ice or snowfall totals more than six inches. One part is renting four-wheel drive cars.

"Last year, we had a couple times where it was that bad that we had to use the four wheel drives and we didn't have enough of them, so all of us pitched in. I actually went out and got a couple of staff folks too because I have a four wheel vehicle," President and CEO John Knox said.

Another consideration: Staff can stay in extra patient rooms before or after a storm, rather than risking an unsafe drive.

"They realize it's important they be here, so they make those arrangements in advance or afterwards," Knox said.

"Our allegiance is to take care of the patients. Come hell or high water or high snow or whatever, we have to be there and do our job. Most physicians are pretty dedicated to what they have to do," Chapman said.

Another thing Finley is prepared for is power outages. The hospital has generators ready to go. In fact, they had to be used during our summer windstorms.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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