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Hospitals prepare to work together in wake of area-wide emergency

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - While the St. Louis region awaits the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown, area hospitals have been meeting to prepare for anything. DePaul Hospital received a few patients in August when the looting and demonstrating occurred in Ferguson. They, like other hospitals, are preparing for the worst to serve anyone in need of medical attention.

Because of recent events in Ferguson, SSM Health Care has set up an incident operation center at its headquarters to support the incident commands at the seven SSM hospitals in the area. Mike Harris, the Network Emergency Preparedness Manager said, "We're not expecting the world to fall apart but were going to be ready for it if it does."

The hospitals are members of a group called STARRS, the St. Louis Area Regional Response System.  Pam Walker the St. Louis City Health Director said, "We really work hard to always be ready. So whether it's Ferguson, losing power, a big storm coming through, or a terrorist attack, we have a huge hospital system in our grasp."

If the community is hit by a major event or natural disaster competition among hospitals goes out the window. They all work together.

Harris said, "If a situation arises that another hospital needs resources and we can help were certainly going to do that."

Walker added, "People should be assured that should any sort of event or public health issue arise we're ready for it."