THE length of the power outage in South Gippsland and Bass Coast has become an emergency, a real emergency. But according to Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child, it’s an emergency where the general community can help.
“Because communication contact is failing, it’s most important that we keep an eye on our neighbours,” Ms Child said.
“If you have any frail aged people living next door or near you, or anyone who relies on oxygen or other health support, check up on them, make sure they are warm or if they are in need of medical health, come into the hospital here at Wonthaggi or at Cowes where we’re confident our generators will hold up.”
The most serious problem health authorities are contending with at the moment is that the ‘Triple 0’ call line is down. Certainly if you have an emergency, try 000 but if you aren’t able to get through, you are advised to take alternative action to either attend the local hospital or bring the sick or injured person in yourself.
“Power at the Leongatha hospital is out, we understand the generator there has failed. They have Ambulance Victoria and Police in attendance at the hospital and we understand they are coping but we would encourage anyone who is able, to come into the Wonthaggi Hospital.
“Because we haven’t been able to stay in contact with our staff at home, whether that be in the rural areas, or in the surrounding towns where they live, we have a full compliment of staff staying in at the hospital tonight.
“We also have ambulance and police support here at Wonthaggi and also at Cowes.
“Don’t hesitate to come in if there is any issue, whether it’s health related, or you’re worried about frail elderly unable to get warm at home.”
Ms Child said if you can help your neighbours at home, by all means bring them in.
“We had been hoping the power would come back on at 9pm and it might still come back on but this is an opportunity for the community to help their neighbours if they are concerned about them.”
Ms Child said as the power stayed off longer, telecommunications were progressively going down, not only the communications towers, but also where people were unable to recharge their phones.
“I understand there is still trouble in some areas trying to get access on the roads but if you need medical help or you’re concerned about frail elderly who are unable to get warm, or others who need medical support, come into the hospital if it is safe to do so.”
Power has been off at all hospitals in the sub-region including Leongatha, Korumburra, Foster and Wonthaggi. Koo Wee Rup Hospital has power and both Wonthaggi and Cowes are covered by working generators.
Hopefully, no such emergencies arise, and the best place to be is safe at home, hoping tomorrow brings the power back on.