Another service call to a local nursing home finds residents sweating out the recent high temperatures.
By Mary O’KEEFE
Once again Glendale police and fire departments responded to a call to the Verdugo Valley Skilled Nursing and Wellness Centre at 2635 Honolulu Ave.
On Saturday at 1:41 p.m. an anonymous caller to the Glendale police reported the nursing facility did not have any air conditioning. With the week’s 100-plus degree temperature there was a concern about the safety of the residents.
When the officer arrived at the facility he found that in fact the air conditioner was not working and that it was uncomfortably warm in the lobby, said Glendale Officer Matt Zakarian.
The responding officer found that there was no air emitting from most of the air vents and that in a few rooms there was hot air coming from the vents.
Some of the residents were sweating in their beds, Zakarian said.
“It was extremely hot,” said Bat. Chief Greg Godfrey.
When the fire department arrived, the air conditioner repair person was on scene and portable air conditioning units were brought in.
The maintenance employee reportedly told the officer the air conditioner had just stopped working, however several residents reported they had been without air conditioning for two to three days.
The California Department of Public Health was notified of the situation and had a representative on scene immediately, said Ralph Montano, spokesman for CDPH.
“We were notified [on Saturday] and had someone there within two hours,” Montano said.
The CDPH representative, along with Glendale fire and police, worked with the facility to take care of the situation.
The fire department personnel made certain the residents had water and developed a plan to move patients out of the facility if the air conditioning was not repaired in a timely manner.
“It took a while [to repair]. We did not leave until 6:30 that evening,” Godfrey said.
The facility did contact residents’ families and one resident was removed, he added.
In July, the California Attorney General indicted the former administrator and the Verdugo Valley facility on charges of felony abuse and neglect after the death of a 34-year-old resident of the facility.
Glendale fire and police have responded to several calls for service to the nursing facility.
In 2009, the public health department issued an AA citation, the most severe penalty under state law for nursing home facilities. In addition to a fine levied, the facility is also subject to periodic inspections by CDPH.
For the present the focus by the department is on getting air to the residents of the facility.
“Right now we want to make sure the residents are taken care of … that residents are safe and the facility is working to get the air conditioner repaired,” Montano said.