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Hospital staff prepared for incidents like Saturday's crash


WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAU) -- Practicing for emergency situations happens all of the time. Fire drills, Tornado drills, specialized police training exercises keep emergency staff, school, and businesses ready for a crisis.

Another place that practices for unplanned emergencies is your local hospital. That training paid off for patients and staff at Riverview Hospital in Wisconsin Rapids Saturday, when a driver in an SUV left the road and struck the brick wall in the Emergency Department.

Nan Taylor is the Director of Business Development and Community Relations for Riverview Hospital. She says the hospital has drills for various situations on a regular basis. “We are practicing on a rotational basis, and we try to hit the variety of incidents that may occur. Anything from some kind of epidemic, to this kind of incident where the building has been compromised.”

Riverview Hospital’s alert levels range from Level One where they are watching a storm up to Level Four, where operations are affected or the building itself is in danger. Saturday’s incident went right to a Level Four alert, and hospital staff had the situation under control quickly, and brought in teams to clean up and evaluate the structure before resuming standard operations a few hours later.

(Our interview with Nan Taylor can be heard on our website, here.)