Rapid round-the-clock efforts allow Swedish/Edmonds to restore all services after a fire in electrical room knocked out power to some parts of the hospital
Edmonds, Wash. — November 27, 2013 — Swedish/Edmonds today restored the last of services that were knocked out due to a fire in the hospital’s electrical room on November 21. The fire was under control within 30 minutes from when firefighters arrived and none of them were injured. One employee and two contractors were evaluated and treated for smoke inhalation that evening.
The fire damaged the main electrical lines preventing back-up power from reaching parts of the hospital. Immediately after the fire was extinguished, 40 percent of the facility had power. Today, 95 percent of the hospital has electricity. Swedish/Edmonds continues to run 14 commercial generators.
“We are very fortunate that the response was swift and organized which allowed services to be restored safely and so quickly,” said David Jaffe, chief executive at Swedish/Edmonds. “Fortunately, we only needed to move 35-40 patients to other parts of the hospital at the time of the fire. The entire Edmonds team did a remarkable job. During the incident, 11 emergency room patients were transferred to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and one OB patient in labor was transported to Swedish/Ballard.”
The emergency department never closed but patients transported by ambulance were diverted to other facilities through Saturday evening.
“When the first 911call came in reporting the fire, we had firefighters at the hospital who were just getting ready to leave after transporting patients to the emergency department,” said Mark Correira, assistant chief of Snohomish County, Fire District 1. “They immediately investigated and located the fire in an electrical room in a sub-basement.” Over 20 emergency and support vehicles, with 50 personnel, responded from Fire District 1, Lynnwood Fire Department, Shoreline Fire Department and additional agencies.
“This was an impressive example of interagency cooperation. We’d like to thank our fire service partners as well as law enforcement, ambulance companies, utility crews and others who worked closely with hospital staff to quickly resolve this emergency and meet patient needs throughout the incident,” Correira said.
“Swedish/Edmonds is such a vital part of this community that it was a relief to hear they have restored all patient services,” said Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling. “I have been impressed by how quickly they responded to a difficult situation and restored most power within four days of the fire.”
The fire occurred one month before the scheduled start of a $63.5 million hospital expansion. The expansion project, including a new emergency department, urgent care, outpatient diagnostic imaging center, welcoming front entrance and parking garage will continue as planned.
“Our community is very fortunate to have Swedish/Edmonds,” said Carl Zapora, superintendent of Verdant Health Commission. “The hospital team has rallied and demonstrated an admirable ‘can do’ reaction to resuming all services as soon as possible.”
Swedish/Edmonds is licensed for 217 beds with a professional staff of about 1,500 employees. The hospital is nationally recognized having received the Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence™ Award from HealthGrades®, a leading independent source of physician information and hospital quality ratings, in 2011 and 2012. For more information, visit www.swedish.org/edmonds.
Swedish has grown over the last 103 years to become the largest non-profit health provider in the Greater Seattle area. It is comprised of five hospital campuses (First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, Edmonds and Issaquah); ambulatory care centers in Redmond and Mill Creek; and Swedish Medical Group, a network of more than 100 primary care and specialty clinics located throughout the Greater Puget Sound area. In addition to general medical and surgical care including robotic-assisted surgery, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatric specialties, organ transplantation and clinical research. In 2012, Swedish provided more than $130 million in community benefit in Western Washington. For more information, visit www.swedish.org, www.swedishcares.org, www.facebook.com/swedishmedicalcenter, or www.twitter.com/swedish.