Fire EMS, Firefighting, Fireground Management

Evacuating a Senior Living Center: What Does It Really Take?

Issue 1 and Volume 167.

BY BRENDA K. FARLOW In July 2012, a large and prolonged heat wave that caused many severe storms struck Chicago, Illinois. One evening, these two weather factors collided in the Northlake area, causing a widespread and prolonged power outage, which affected the Concord Place Retirement and Assisted Living Community. Concord is a 16-story high-rise that houses approximately 325 residents, each of whom has a private apartment (although there are a few couples) and a different level of mobility. Concord offers services ranging from independent living to assisted living to home health care nursing. The night of the power outage, the overnight temperature was 84°F. Concord’s backup systems include a diesel generator that runs one elevator, the emergency lighting, the fire pump, and the air-conditioning system. That night, the radiator on the diesel generator blew out and could not be repaired after several hours of attempts. Losing the main power and…

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