SANTA ROSA (KPIX 5) — Two hospitals in Santa Rosa were still out of commission Tuesday after patients were whisked to safety in the middle of the night.
Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital remains evacuated, as does Kaiser Permanente hospital.
Kaiser staff members in Santa Rosa described the encroaching flames as a wall of fire next to the hospital.
Around 3:30 a.m. Monday, they decided to evacuate its roughly 130 patients, including those in critical care, like laboring and post-partum mothers.
Each patient had to be quickly assessed to see if they needed a wheelchair, or just simply someone to hold onto.
Every patient had a staff member at their side as they exited the building. And they remained closely monitored as some were taken to nearby hospitals by bus, ambulance, or even some nurses’ personal cars.
It was the first time this hospital had to be evacuated, and all while the staff’s own homes were possibly on fire.
Dr. Joshua Weil, the Chief of the Emergency Department said, “Really, everybody here was being impacted by the fire. Everybody. I mean, it’s a frightening thing if you’re worried about your own home or your families. But additionally, you have people watching this wall of fire right here. And certainly, they had to be thinking about their own lives. But they just put that aside and took care of the patients.”
In order to move back in, the fire has to be deemed contained and under control. Then all the systems have to be turned on like electricity and water.
After that they have to wait up to 48 hours in order to test those systems and make sure nothing was damaged.
Best-case scenario, the hospital can reopen on Friday, but that is coming from Dr. Weil who said he was purely speculating and remaining hopeful.