Setting the bar for safety in senior care industry

Setting the bar for safety in senior care industry
Companies team up, respond successfully to California fires

FT. WORTH, Texas (Dec. 18, 2017) – A story is now emerging about an extraordinary response by the employees of two companies whose efforts helped protect hundreds of lives during the recent California wildfires.

Actions by Brookdale Senior Living and Interstate Restoration have been credited for the elderly residents’ ability to endure the event in their assisted living homes.

Far exceeding the standards expected in the disaster recovery industry, Interstate Restoration employees braved conditions to ensure that elderly residents could endure the impending smoke without leaving the security of their facilities.

Of course, the successful response would not have been possible without the foresight of Brookdale leadership, who had plans in place for this kind of scenario. They called Interstate Restoration and within a few hours, response teams were on scene.

Interstate ultimately set up dozens of air purification machines in 22 Brookdale facilities covering three counties in Northern California and three counties in Southern California, allowing residents to “shelter in place.”

“Brookdale took a proactive approach, so there was no panic when they first heard about the fires that were forcing mass evacuations,” said Stacy Mazur, CEO of Interstate Restoration. “They called us before the urgency heightened, and we began delivery and installing all the appropriate equipment shortly thereafter.”

Residents in assisted living homes typically have a wider range of age-related ailments and medical conditions, and evacuation could actually be more difficult for them. In this case, options were limited because local hotels and shelters were in high demand.

Interstate workers set up “air scrubbers” at each facility, ensuring that the residents would be able to breathe easily, including those with respiratory troubles. Interstate met the challenge of procuring enough machines (total of about 250 in Northern California and 140 in Southern California), even though so much of the company’s equipment had already been directed to previous disaster areas in Texas and Florida.

When the fires struck in Southern California, Interstate transported the equipment to a staging area where workers could install the equipment at a moment’s notice.

In Northern California, Interstate set up a base camp at a hiking lodge, where conditions were rustic at best.

“We had to have our workers within quick-response driving distance, and it was our best option,” said Tami Casey, Regional Director for Interstate.

Interstate projects that the restoration work in the facilities will continue into the early part of next year. But the main objective has already been achieved: Good planning and quick action helped ensure the health and safety of the residents.

For photos and for additional details about the ways that Interstate Restoration and Brookdale met this unique challenge, contact Steve Caulk at 303-401-4971.