Wednesday, August 21, 2013

St. Luke?s keeps ER operational

Hospital remains open in evacuation zone


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Firefighters drain water from the wetlands next to St. Luke?s hospital into tanks to feed sprinklers for structure protection. The fire was burning actively to the south of the hospital over the weekend and earlier this week. Photo by Willy Cook

    St. Luke’s Wood River hospital has maintained an operational emergency room throughout the past several days even though the hospital Tuesday morning remained in a mandatory evacuation zone.
    Four patients were transferred to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center in Twin Falls on Friday when pre-evacuation orders were issued for the Ketchum and Sun Valley areas. Tanya Keim, director of community relations and administrative services, said Tuesday that all of those patients have been discharged.
    “We do not have any patients now” she said.
    The Beaver Creek Fire remained active in the Timber Gulch area one ridge away from the hospital, but had not presented a danger to St. Luke’s.
    “It didn’t get close to us,” Keim said.
    The hospital’s north parking lot was used as a staging area for fire crews working in the Timber Gulch area, with at least a couple dozen trucks and crews working out of the area.
    Keim recommended that people with non-emergency medical problems go to St. Luke’s Clinic on Aviation Drive in south Hailey, an area that has not been included in either pre-evacuation or mandatory evacuation orders.
    Keim said she expects hospital operations to resume normally soon.
    “We haven’t got the notice that we’re out of the evacuation zone, so we’re still on alert,” she said. “As soon as we get the notice from the Ketchum fire chief, we will notify the public ASAP when we’re back to normal.”
    Keim reiterated that the hospital has not been in immediate danger.
    “We have a great staff and we’re doing just fine, which is great,” she said.


Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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