The power was out at Vernon Jubilee Hospital Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, but it was business as usual for the most part. (Black Press files)

Vernon hospital has ‘hectic’ morning after blackout

Modern technology, good team makes for smooth power outage procedures

The Vernon Jubilee Hospital was a “bit hectic” this morning, North Okanagan health services administrator Richard Harding said.

The lights went out in Vernon affecting more than 8,000 customers Thursday morning—some are still in the dark.

But ultimately it was business as usual at the hospital.

The power went out after a piece of BC Hydro equipment malfunctioned igniting a utility pole near the DND fields, spokesman Dag Sharman said.

The VJH was on temporary backup power following the power outage, Harding said.

“In this type of situation, we have backup generators—the same as other hospitals throughout B.C.,” he said. “They kick in whenever we have power outages to sustain critical equipment.”

READ MORE: 2,500 Vernon residents remain without power after pole catches fire

Harding said no disruptions were experienced in the power supply after the blackout Thursday morning as generators kicked in. Some surgical procedures however were pushed back until power was restored to the hospital at around 11:30 a.m.

“The main thing is we want to thank our patients, staff and physicians for their patience,” Harding said.

Harding said the hospital has modern technology that reduces the use of energy in situations like this.

“Systems drop down to reduce the load,” Harding said.

In the five years Harding has been on with VJH, he said he’s seen around three power outages. But due to the modern systems and “amazing” on-site facilities management teams monitoring the hospital’s systems, it’s not a problem.

“They immediately kick into their processes and procedures to make sure everyone is safe and systems are online,” Harding said.

Harding said previously scheduled surgeries are going ahead now that power has been restored and his staff is showing a “really good morale.”

“I was really impressed with the staff response.”

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