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BGH recovering from fire – unit should open week of July 9

UPDATE May 16 – The timeline for restoration of Quinte 5 Medicine Unit at Belleville General Hospital has been extended to the week of July 9.

“Now that we have all the information and assessments of the work required on Quinte 5 – including a more accurate timeline for the tasks involved with the cleanup and restoration – the estimated timeline until the unit reopens is eight weeks,” said Catherine Walker, manager of communications and community relations.

“Beyond the destruction of the Quinte 5 kitchenette where the small electrical fire was contained, the smoke has permeated deep into materials and devices throughout the unit,” she said. “The smoke damage is more extensive than originally thought. More time is needed to restore the unit to ensure a safe environment for our patients and staff. ”

Work being done includes:
demolition/rebuilding of kitchenette and adjacent affected areas
replacement of ceiling tiles and lighting fixtures
cleaning and insulating all duct work
cleaning/neutralizing, wrapping and storing of all patient care equipment
deep cleaning of electronic equipment
patching and painting throughout entire unit

“We appreciate the remarkable team effort it’s taken to relocate the medicine beds to various units at BGH and also at PECMH and TMH during the closure,” said Mary Clare Egberts, President and CEO, Quinte Health Care. “We are extremely grateful to the Quinte 5 staff and physicians for the resiliency and adaptability they have shown, and we continue to be impressed and inspired by all departments for their professionalism and ongoing support.”

May 14 – All three QHC hospitals, staff and volunteers are pitching in to help Belleville General recover from from a small electrical fire Tuesday, May 9 and surgeries scheduled for this week are expected to resume as planned.

“The response to the Quinte 5 fire has involved a tremendous team effort across all QHC hospitals,” said Catherine Walker, manager of communications and community relations. “Within minutes of learning about the fire at BGH, the offers to help started coming in from the three other QHC hospitals including Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital.”

Following the alarm at 8:45 a.m. the Belleville Fire Department and EMS helped staff and physicians relocate 44 patients on Quinte 5 medicine unit, 28 patients on Quinte 6 surgical inpatient unit. Eight patients on Quinte 7 maternal/child unit were promptly evacuated by staff as part of the hospital’s emergency response procedures.

Mike Graham, a patient who was on Quinte 5 when the fire broke out shared his experience.

“We heard the alarm go off, then the doors closed and I heard someone say ‘This one’s for real.’ I’m a former police officer and I know smoke can get you pretty quickly. But they didn’t mess around,” he said. “They rolled my bed out of the room and put me on a plastic sheet. They hustled us out of there so quick. I never felt threatened. I can’t say enough about the staff. I take my hat off to them. The evacuation was well done and I felt safe. Their main job was to get us off the floor safely and they did a fantastic job.”

Walker said First-On-Site restoration services has assessed the damage on Quinte 5 and with the work that needs to be done to meet infection control standards – replacement of ceiling tiles, cleaning of radiators, changing of light fixtures etc. – it is anticipated the unit will remain closed for at least three weeks.

Walker said medicine patients continue to be cared for on other units of QHC hospitals.

“Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital has up to five extra medicine spaces to assist with the temporary closure of our Quinte 5, our largest medicine unit,” she said. “TMH has one extra medicine bed, and the remaining 38 patient beds that would normally be on Quinte 5 have been relocated to various departments at BGH including the surgical unit, the second oncology clinic space on Sills 4 and the rehabilitation unit.”

“There is currently a flurry of work being done on Quinte 5 – boarding is up, a negative-pressure environment has been created to purify the air, cleaners are busy sterilizing equipment. People are hard at work, but the work will take time,” said Walker.

“Thank you to our staff, physicians and volunteers for their hard work. Everyone continues to pull together as a team to do what needs to be done for our patients.”

Filed Under: Local News

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