Emergency rooms and responders prepare to stay open Thursday - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Emergency rooms and responders prepare to stay open Thursday

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MADISON (WKOW) -- While many businesses and schools are closed Thursday, emergency responders and hospitals don't really have that option. They have to keep a full staff to keep you safe.

But some of their clinics will be closed because of the weather. UW Health will have all its clinics closed Thursday. However, it'll have the emergency unit open in case anything happens. Ambulance drivers will also be out responding to any emergency that comes their way.

"If someone calls with a life threat, we gotta go," says Ryan Brothers Ambulance Director of Operations Rob Lulling. "A lot of schools are closed. We don't have that luxury."

Minus the snow it'll pretty much be a typical day at Ryan Brothers Ambulance, managing seven locations and 40 employees during the worst snowfall of the season.

"As soon as all of our managers started coming in there were emails starting to fly around the company just warning people it's going to get bad tonight, tomorrow. Make proper arrangements and preparations," Lulling says.

Many drivers will opt to spend the night at the station.

"We've got bedrooms, three bedrooms here, living quarters, kitchen, full kitchen," Lulling explains. "Tonight we'll probably have people on the couch on the floors."

They're ready at any moment to take patients to any nearby emergency room. At UW Health, doctors are standing by.

"We're a level one trauma center for this whole region so it's important that we keep that humming so people have a place to go," says UW spokesperson Lisa Brunette.

It's not everyday administrators decide to close down their clinics. With so many patients and so many needs, closing only comes when safety is at risk

"I have been here more than 20 years. I think I can count using the fingers of one hand, how many times we've done it," Brunette says.

Other hospitals will also close their clinics Thursday including most of Meriter and Dean health clinics.

Besides keeping their emergency room open, UW Health also announced that all in-patient surgeries for Thursday will go on as planned. As for Friday they haven't decided what they're going to do yet. Administrators will meet Thursday afternoon to see what the weather looks like.

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