September 30, 2014

Local nursing home residents evacuated

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
Medicalodges in Gardner evacuated 77 residents last week after a fire suppression system in the skilled nursing facility failed.
The mechanical issue resulted in an inch of water and mud on some of the floors, and damaged walls.
Fire officials responded to the system failure shortly after midnight on March 20. Although there was no imminent danger to staff or residents of the nursing home, officials decided to follow emergency protocol and evacuate residents.
“It is important to note that at no time were our residents in any danger,” Fred Benjamin, vice president and chief operating officer of Medicalodges, Inc., said.
Residents were transported to other Medicalodges facilities.
“At each of the receiving facilities, those displaced were welcomed by residents and employees at their new, temporary homes,” Franklin said.
Gardner employees have been assigned to care for residents in other Medicalodges facilities in order to minimize disruption.
State regulatory officials were notified of the evacuation and families of those displaced also received notice. Franklin said a disaster recovery team is on site at the Gardner facility coordinating with local and state authorities. Franklin said he anticipates residents will be returning to the local skilled nursing home within 30 days.
“We are extremely proud of the incredible response of our Medicalodges family and their commitment to our residents and the Gardner community,” Franklin said in a written statement. “The good news of this otherwise difficult situation is that the facility will be renovated to like new condition.”

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