Huntsville Hospital Gears Up For Six-Hour Emergency Back-Up Power Outage

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On Wednesday, October 20, 2021, the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital (HDMH) Site will experience a planned six-hour outage of the emergency back-up power system.

The outage is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and end by 3 p.m. the hospital said.

During this time, a new emergency back-up power generator will be installed to ensure the hospital has have the electrical capacity to support new and future critical equipment on emergency power.

Extensive planning and communication has occurred to ensure the comfort and safety of patients and mitigate any risks.

During the six-hour outage, there will be no scheduled surgical procedures, or ambulatory or outpatient tests, clinics or treatments. Where it is safe to do so, ambulances will bypass the Emergency Department, which will operate as an urgent care centre only. Other facilities, including the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital Site in Bracebridge, will be used for obstetrical deliveries on October 19 and 20. No visiting will be permitted at Huntsville Hospital on October 20.

The Huntsville community and surrounding area is encouraged to see their family doctor or other community provider for treatment or care, if possible on October 20. During the outage hospital staff will be focused on providing high-quality, safe, care to the current patients.

“An outage of this magnitude has significant potential impacts on the hospital and patient care and ultimately the community,” explains Natalie Bubela, President & CEO at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare. “This project has involved tremendous work to properly understand and address all of the potential impacts. Communication with partners and stakeholders has been paramount as we try to mitigate all potential risks. We thank our long list of community and regional partners for their support leading up to and during the outage.”

The outage will impact clinical services and hospital equipment, and building infrastructure like elevators, heating and cooling and lighting. Increased traffic at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital (SMMH) Site in Bracebridge is anticipated and the appropriate preparations are being made to manage the volumes.

“We appreciate your understanding that we will not allow visiting at Huntsville Hospital on October 20,” says Bubela. “We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your support and understanding during this time.”

While it is unlikely, should normal power in Huntsville fail on October 20, the hospital may be evacuated.

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