It was pretty much the usual routine in the Emergency Department in the early hours of Sunday, September 7. A few people in the lobby, a few patients being treated in the back. I don't often get to see what happens in the ED in the middle of the night (because I'm normally home asleep in bed), but I did that Sunday.
Since then we've all been reading the newspaper stories, seeing posts on
Facebook and hearing the speculation about the cause of the hotel fire. But we've kept a pretty low profile about what happened here at Campbell County Health—I think for a couple reasons.
The privacy of our patients and their families is extremely important to all of us, especially when they've lost everything and possibly jumped out a third-story window to save themselves from a fire. We put ourselves in the place of patients every day—asking if we would want the world to know our names and about our injuries.
The other reason is because it's what you all do. I saw doctors and nurses calmly treating injured patients. I saw radiology techs,
respiratory therapists, clerks and
chaplains—many of whom were called in the middle of the night—all working together to help people through a pretty horrible experience. I wasn't at the scene, but I know that
EMS did an amazing job of helping people out of rooms that were on fire behind them. And I saw Administrative staff follow the procedures they've practiced many times.
There were far too many people who played a part in this story to name, but it made me think of something that Andy Fitzgerald, our CEO, often says. He says that no one in Gillette can do what is done by the employees, physicians and volunteers of Campbell County Health. No one can do what you all do—it's just business as usual.
Karen Clarke, Community Relations Manager