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Temps go below zero; employees' teamwork goes above and beyond

pipe

Staff from Plant Engineering and Facilities Design and Construction were among the employees called in during the record cold the weekend of Feb. 13 to deal with pipe breaks at various locations at the York Street Campus.



Blizzards, tropical storms and most recently, record-setting cold, have shown that when Mother Nature throws Yale New Haven Hospital a curve ball, employees from many different areas come together to keep things up and running.

Sub-zero temperatures during the Feb. 13 weekend resulted in a memorable Valentine's Day and Presidents Day for a number of employees when pipes froze and broke in areas throughout the York Street Campus. These included the New Haven Cafeteria and entire Human Resources Department in the Clinic Building, which were damaged when a sprinkler line in the ceiling broke at around 9 pm Sunday, Feb. 14.

Also at around 9 pm Sunday, a pipe broke in the Primary Care Clinic, and at around 2 pm Monday, Feb. 15, a sprinkler pipe broke in the ceiling above Surgical Pathology, East Pavilion second floor, causing significant damage.

Soon after the first pipe break, employees from Plant Engineering, Facilities Design and Construction, Environmental Services, Epidemiology, Information Technology Services and Protective Services went into action. The first steps were to stop the water flow, begin removing standing water and start assessing the damage and calling other employees and private contractors in to help. Employees and contractors removed furniture, carpeting, drywall and equipment and began drying flooded areas, said Stephen Carbery, vice president, Facilities, Design, Construction and Real Estate. They have been working since to repair the damage. Some areas are back in service, but work continues in others.

"Pipe breaks and the resulting water flows can cause major problems in any setting, but in a hospital they can be particularly challenging," Carbery said. "Employees from many departments, including the affected areas, have really come together and worked as a team to minimize the impact on patients, visitors and other staff members."