FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE               Connecticut Department of Public Health

December 10, 2007                                     Contact: William Gerrish

                                                                    (860) 509-7270


Hartford – The Department of Public Health (DPH) responded to aid a nursing home last week to protect the safety of residents after the facility experienced a malfunction with its heating system.  A boiler problem in the early morning on Wednesday, November 28th at the West Rock Health Care Center in New Haven resulted in a catastrophic failure of the heating system.  Nobody was injured in the incident and the facility was not evacuated. 


Electrical space heaters were used to warm the facility overnight to maintain comfortable temperatures for residents.  The next morning, the DPH, at the request of West Rock Health Care Center and the New Haven Fire Department, deployed two portable heating units and supporting generator capacity from the Ottilie W. Lundgren Memorial Field Hospital to provide West Rock Health Care Center with heat while the heating system was repaired. As a safety precaution, twelve carbon monoxide (CO) monitors were installed throughout the facility. As an added measure of safety the facility was also monitored by personnel from the New Haven Fire Department.


“State public health officials quickly deployed assets from the mobile hospital to ensure the safety of residents at West Rock,” stated Governor M. Jodi Rell. “Once again, use of the state’s mobile hospital shows how it is a key asset to our level of preparedness and ability to quickly respond to health emergencies anywhere in the state.”


The boiler has since been repaired and is functioning.  The portable heating units and generator capacity remained at the facility throughout the duration of last weekend in the event of any other incidents.  The failure began due to insufficient air available to feed the boiler. 


The Ottilie W. Lundgren Memorial Field Hospital is a mobile hospital that was purchased as part of the state’s overall preparedness efforts.  The hospital is transportable and has the ability to provide safe shelter and medical care in the event of an emergency.  In its full capacity, the mobile hospital can hold up to 100 hospital beds and is able to support medical equipment necessary to treat patients in a large-scale event.