Portable air conditioners and generators help cool off Carleton Place hospital
The Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital is relying on portable air conditioners to keep things cool after an equipment failure on the hottest day of the year.
A spokesperson for the hospital told CTV News Ottawa there was no air conditioning in the hospital on Sunday afternoon, as the humidex made it feel like 40 degrees.
The president of the hospital said Monday it was because of an equipment failure.
"Just when we got reopened and were heading back into normal operations, we had a heat-related equipment failure, which was entirely unanticipated and on the hottest day of the year," said hospital president and CEO Mary Wilson Trider on Newstalk 580 CFRA's "Ottawa at Work" with guest host Patricia Boal.
Wilson Trider said the hospital's maintenance team and local contractors provided portable AC units to help cool down the hospital in the short-term while they work to repair the main unit.
"We have a generator on site and some air conditioning units to regulate the temperature. There is a part that is required that our contractor partners are working on sourcing for us. Until that part is found, we will continue with these temporary solutions in order to keep an appropriate temperature in the building," she said.
News of the broken air conditioning at the Carleton Place hospital came hours after the emergency department reopened following a 24-hour shutdown. The ER at the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital was closed from 7 a.m. Saturday until 7 a.m. Sunday due to a shortage of nurses.
Wilson Trider said the decision was made in the interest of patient safety, but it made her very anxious.
However, she could not guarantee it wouldn't happen again.
"In the short term, we are going to do everything we possibly can to avoid having to close the emergency department again. The reality is sick leaves happen, maternity leaves happen, and vacations, which are very, very much needed for our staff who have been working under COVID conditions since March of 2020, those are very much required. Life happens," she said.
"We don't have lots and lots of people on our roster to fill in, but we are doing our absolute best, pulling out all the stops, and certainly working very closely through our Mississippi River Health Alliance partnership with the Almonte General Hospital to do everything we can to make sure we don't have to close the emergency department again, but I can't say for certain that it won't happen."
She said she did not hear of anyone who was adversely affected over the closure this past weekend, but said she understands that it's going to affect the community.
"The people in Carleton Place rely on the emergency department, so of course they're anxious when we have to close it," she said. "It does make people anxious that they have to go another community and some people may have had to travel farther than they would have liked to for care."
With files from CTV News Ottawa's Natalie van Rooy