LAFD transferred over 200 patients during hospital power outage
Fire Chief Kristin M. Crowley said the first firefighters to arrive at Adventist Health White Memorial Hospital faced a total blackout
By Alexandra E. Petri
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — Hundreds of patients, including some in critical care, had to be evacuated early Tuesday at Adventist Health White Memorial Hospital in Boyle Heights after part of the complex lost power, authorities said.
The patients were transferred to other facilities on the campus and to other area hospitals, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.
Firefighters responded to a blackout at the hospital at about 11:45 p.m. Monday, according to an alert from the department. Some of the evacuated patients were on ventilators, the department said.
The outage hit only the hospital’s Specialty Care Center and affected 241 patients, the department said. It was not immediately clear what caused the power cut, which came hours after Hilary, the first tropical storm to hit L.A. in 84 years, hopscotched across Southern California.
L.A. Fire Capt. Cody Weireter called the situation a “very large scope emergency” and said White Memorial’s backup generators were not working, CNN reported.
Margaret Stewart, a Fire Department spokesperson, declined to comment on the backup generators. The hospital could not be reached for comment early Tuesday.
The Specialty Care Center houses the hospital’s neonatal, obstetrics and gynecology units as well as patients undergoing rehabilitation, Stewart said. According to the hospital’s website, the specialty care tower “is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and features design innovations that contribute to its healing environment.”
Stewart said 137 firefighters and 27 ambulances responded to the incident. The department transported 21 patients deemed critical to another hospital. Firefighters brought patients down to the ground floor, “assisting ventilations as required, for transport,” the department said.
The remaining patients were deemed noncritical and were moved to the hospital’s South Tower.
Officials are expected to provide more details later Tuesday morning.