Riverside Care facility Nearly Evacuated Due To Wind Related Power Outage
Written by Trevor Montgomery
With the high winds once again blowing through our area, the Riverside Fire Department has been very busy responding to multiple emergency calls for downed power lines and small fires as a result of the heavy winds causing trees to fall onto utility lines.
On Magnolia Ave between Adams and Wayne Ct., a large tree blew over causing a potentially deadly power outage in the area. Mission Care Facility which falls within the area of the outage, is a care facility that caters to patients that are all on ventilators, which are necessary for those patients to breathe. The facility has a back up generator that can handle power outages but failed to transfer over during the power loss.
Approximately 26 patients who were on ventilators were in immediate jeopardy due to the power loss. According to facility staff at the scene, their ventilators can run on emergency battery backup, but only for approximately 30 minutes before needing to be recharged.
Riverside Fire Department units arrived on scene and immediately called for all available ambulance resources to respond to the location. The fire department requested 26 ambulances in all. The fire department had requested the ambulances in case they were needed to transport the ventilator-dependent patients to local area hospitals until the power was restored.
Riverside Public Utilities also responded to the location and was urgently working on assisting the facility to get power back to the building as soon as possible.
California Baptist University, which is located across the street offered to assist during the crisis. They immediately responded with approximately 35 nursing students who literally ran to the facility to provide care where needed.
One of the fire department’s mechanics, who services the department’s station generators, responded to the care facility and was able to assist in getting the generator to transfer the necessary power for the building to have enough electricity to go back to normal operating procedures.
Before the power was re-established, one patient was transported to a local hospital. Fire units were able to deploy power lines to the facility that had the capability of supplying power from the department’s powerful, portable generators.
Once the power was fully restored, all remaining patients were able to remain at the facility without further disruption.
The Riverside Fire Department reported that no patients received delayed care or further injury as a result of the power outage. Fire units remained on scene for approx. 45 minutes following the incident as a precautionary measure, in the event the portable generator failed.
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