This was written by our RN Sondra who was on site at the time.
Friday, November 4th around 11 am, the fire alarms went off throughout the buildings at the senior nursing facility where Catalina In-Home Services helps staff with our caregivers. One of our nurses who supervises our staff, Nurse Beverly, said “Someone must have burnt toast!”, and left the area to investigate. Within a few minutes, she called to alert us that there was in fact a fire in the main lobby fireplace and it was smoking uncontrollably, and we needed to evacuate the entire building. Immediately Catalina’s caregivers all stepped up to help get the elders safely out. In total there were over 200 people evacuated! Multiple floors were cleared and the stairwells utilized during this emergency.
After everyone was safely out, the fire department said that it could be hours before the building would be cleared for the members to return to their homes. Our caregivers then assisted all elder adults safely to the designated buildings for shelter until able to return home. The caregivers then helped to keep people occupied by talking, playing music, playing games, and anything they could think of to keep everyone busy while waiting. The caregivers also assisted the facility’s staff with serving up lunch and dinner for all the elders. The building wasn’t cleared until after 6 pm, and Catalina caregivers assisted people back to their homes.
Multiple staff members of the facility acknowledged the caregivers for their ability to quickly jump in and assist. There were also multiple elder adults living in the facility who said that without the Catalina caregivers, “It would have been a disaster”, and were so thankful for the incredible help that the caregivers gave.
Special THANK YOU to Irene, Duane, Grace , Angelica , Brenda , and Alex.
Catalina certainly hires the “cream of the crop.” Not only do they excel in their routine care duties, but they also can step outside the box of their job descriptions and perform heroics!