UPDATED – 12:50 P.M. – TRURO – Officials with the Colchester East Hants Health Authority have traced Thursday's evening's power interruption to a major fault in a system that generates steam for the Colchester East Hants Health Centre.
Major power interruption at Colchester East Hants Health Centre
A ground fault occurred in the control panel which caused more than one breaker to trip; thus knocking out power to other systems and areas.
While two back-up power generators immediately kicked-in to provide power, the power did not seamlessly transfer to the complete power system as it should have, meaning the facility was partially without power in some areas. The health authority will be reviewing the electrical system design with electrical engineering consultants.
Normal power was restored to the facility by 10 p.m. last evening and no further outages have been experienced.
At the time of the failure a total of 105 patients were admitted and no deliveries or surgeries were in progress. The outage did not disrupt ventilators or other critical systems being used in the Intensive Care Unit. Some equipment and lighting in other areas of the health centre were temporarily operating on battery packs or temporarily out of service. Some equipment went off-line as a result of the outage, including the MRI unit, which is expected to be back in service later today.
“Our people were quick to respond and we are grateful for their efforts to restore power and minimize the impact of this outage on our patients, their families and members of our care team,” said CEHHA CEO Peter MacKinnon, in a news release. “We regret any anxiety or concern that this situation caused and are looking at the lessons learned from this situation to strengthen our emergency response plans.”
The facility has two back-up power generators, as well as battery back-up system in place, both of which were extensively tested prior to the opening of the health centre and on regular basis since the facility opened last November. The most recent generator test occurred on Tuesday.
Auxilliary power was operating throughout the facility on Thursday within 45 minutes and the building switched back to normal power at 10 p.m.
Some areas, including the Emergency Department, were largely without emergency power for up to 45 minutes, which led to two ambulances being diverted as a precaution.
At the time of the outage no deliveries or surgeries were in progress and the outage did not disrupt ventilators or other critical systems used in the Intensive Care Unit. Some equipment and lighting in other areas of the health centre were temporarily operating on battery back-up or temporarily out of service.