At Northwest Health, we are thankful to have a community of first responders, emergency management crews and dedicated employees who answered the call in our time of need recently.
On Sept. 29, Northwest Health - Porter was notified that our main water supply would need to be shut down to perform repairs due to an accident nearby. This work occurred during a period of nearly 7 hours overnight.
As healthcare professionals, we pride ourselves on being equipped and well-trained to handle unexpected events that can occur frequently in this field. However, a utility event like this one causes incredible pressure and stress to our systems.
We acted fast to make plans to conserve our resources and rally our teams to assist patients and coworkers where necessary to ensure clean drinking water, the ability to sterilize and disinfect our environment, and operations of key mechanical units.
Four local fire departments responded and mobilized tankers and crews to pump more than 22,000 gallons of water to our hospital, allowing us to focus resources elsewhere. They stayed with our teams overnight, sacrificing a good night’s rest and time with their families to keep our patients safe.
We want to especially thank Union Township Fire Chief Mark Werno, Washington Township Fire Chief Robert Huffstodt, Liberty Township Fire Chief Brian Duncan, Morgan Township Fire Chief Josh Kandel, and Lance Bella, Director of the Porter County Emergency Management Agency, for providing leadership during this coordinated response. We are grateful for your expertise, collaboration and commitment to helping our patients.
We also want to express gratitude for our dedicated internal team members who worked that night, as well as the dozens who came into work during off-hours to distribute bottled water to patients and staff until the 24-hour boil water advisory expired.
At Northwest Health, we often think of ourselves as part of a community that works together to create the best possible outcomes for our patients. The successful multidisciplinary response to this event reinforces our community’s strength, expertise and collaborative spirit during a time of need at our facility.
We are so appreciative.
Ashley Dickinson is CEO of Northwest Health. The opinions are the writer’s.