PDH Responds to Lightning Strike

General
Wednesday, 30 April 2014
MAY 1 ,2014 Portland District Health is continuing to follow emergency contingency plans as repairs are carried out to internal communication systems damaged by lightning.

PDH was struck by lightning about 8pm Tuesday. The lightning hit the Vodophone tower on the hospital roof and arced through a water pipe.

The strike damaged some of the hospital's internal communication systems which are currently being repaired.

It had been hoped that the systems would be back in use by today but the restoration is continuing.

PDH has been operating in code yellow internal emergency mode since the lightning strike but there has been no threat to patient safety.

Acting Chief Executive Officer Ros Jones said some of the damaged systems would have to be replaced.

We have isolated the problem and in the meantime we have contingencies in place to manage the situation. These contingencies will continue while we work to resolve the full issues, Ms Jones said.

External experts have been working on site today to review the damaged fire panel and internal communication systems.

Ms Jones said there was no threat to patient safety and that nearby health services had been alerted about the situation as a precaution.

Patient care is continuing as normal, Ms Jones said.

Our priority has been to make sure our care for patients and clients has not been affected and we will continue to ensure this incident does not affect service provision,she said.

The damage bill has yet to be determined but Ms Jones said the cost was likely to be substantial. Our insurers are on site today and are happy with the way we are progressing the situation,she said.

It is uncertain when the damaged systems will be replaced and fully operational.

Ms Jones praised staff for their quick and calm response to the lightning strike. Staff were quick to enact our emergency response strategy and were very professional in their actions,she said.

It is believed to be the first time PDH has been struck by lightning. There was no structural damage to the facility and no injuries.


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