October 2015 – AUSTRALIA – The staff at Chinchilla Hospital are picking up the pieces after hail stones smashed windows and damaged a roof at the facility on Wednesday. At the height of the severe hailstorm an urgent message was relayed to The Chronicle that the hospital had been damaged, but that emergency and maternity services were still operational. Now that the worst is over staff have rallied at to ensure patients have been well cared for after the storm caused considerable infrastructure damage at the facility late Wednesday afternoon.
Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service Executive Director Workforce and Infrastructure Mick Metcalfe praised local teams who maintained the operation of the facility despite the trying conditions. “In the interests of patient comfort and in support of the recovery arrangement, six inpatients were transferred to Dalby Hospital and will be returned to Chinchilla Hospital or discharged as soon as tomorrow,” he said. “Many of the hospital’s windows were smashed and the roof damaged which saw significant water inundation throughout the facility.” Chinchilla Christian School was closed and the local library, art gallery, cultural centre and brand-new neighbourhood centre also sustained damage. About 3300 homes were left without power.
Mr. Metcalfe said emergency department and maternity services remained operational at Chinchilla Hospital after the damage occurred, with full hospital services expected to resume tomorrow. “Earlier today we completed a comprehensive review of the facility and discussed with staff the plan to get all services up and running again. “Numerous contractors have been onsite today checking electrical systems, replacing and securing windows and glass, clearing hail and water from roof areas and checking and replacing ICT equipment, amongst things.” He said it was likely to be several weeks until the full extent of the damage to Chinchilla Hospital was known as water had entered the roof and wall spaces in many sections of the facility. Phone lines, computer servers and electricity were all restored to normal operation yesterday. –The Chronicle