Yesterday late afternoon, I got a call from work that canceled my shift until 11pm - yay! Tyler and I were getting ready to walk out the door to hit the gym then buy a new TV (to add to our new living room swag - I'll post pics later) when I got a call from a coworker's cell phone saying they needed me to come into work. This coworker is a funny girl and since I got the call from her cell, I thought she was kidding so I just laughed. Then she said, "No, I'm serious! We had an emergency and we need you to come in." As she was saying this I heard alarms in the background at work. I didn't even ask her what the emergency was about, but I told her I'd be there in thirty minutes.
As I got dressed for work, my heart was pumping so fast! I was wondering, what kind of emergency would they need me for? They deal with hemorrhages all the time...was it a death? I was sooooo scared and on my way to work when my mom called to ask me if I was okay. Since we were in the middle of redoing our living room we didn't have our TV on all day and I apparently missed the big news that part of Xcel Energy exploded near my work. This caused all energy to go out in multiple hospitals nearby. But no big deal because hospitals have generators for the back up electricity, right? Well...then our hospital's generator went out. Just imagine what implications that has.
So, the street lights weren't working and a bunch of streets were closed, but I managed to get to work. Of course I didn't think to bring my flashlight from my car into the hospital. Walking into a pitch black hospital is something creepy, let me tell you!!! There were people down the hallways waving flashlights, I felt like they were the people from Titanic, "Is anyone out there!?!??" Okay, so maybe I'm kind of dramatic, but I was kind of freaking out! I went to the stairwell where they were leading people to, but I couldn't use it because firemen were transporting ICU patients up and down since the elevators obviously weren't working. I had to find another stairwell. I walked to another wing of the hospital where I knew a stairwell was - completely deserted. So creepy! I stumbled up the stairwell trying to use my phone as a flashlight; it didn't work very well! And it was at that point that I realized I watch entirely too much Law & Order SVU because all I could think in that stairwell by myself was, "please don't let there be a creepy man in here! Please please please."
I got to my floor and everything was okay. Our staff really banded together and worked calmly as a team. The patients were incredibly understanding and patient with our situation. Around 11pm our power came back - phew! It was getting REALLY hot without any AC! And I sure got my workout in going up and down those stairs over and over again! I really appreciate functioning elevators, now :) However, after midnight, the fire alarm started going off. OMG. Turns out there was no fire, but there was smoke coming from the generator. And everything was okay. Thankfully that was the end of the mayhem for the night!
Thank goodness respirators and other life-sustaining devices have batteries as well to continue functioning should generators go out! But what about patients in the middle of surgery? By some miracle, there was NO ONE in the middle of a surgery when the power went out a little after 6:30 pm. I can't even wrap my head around how lucky this is. They were just about to do a c-section when the power went out. We all really managed to get through a crazy night with the least amount of serious repercussions possible (maybe a little ice cream melted while the freezers weren't working ;) )! I am so thankful!
I am so proud to see how our hospital reacts in such a timely, cooperative, and calm manner. What a great example of a team!
Cheers to that! :)