When the ice storm of January 2009 forced many in the Berryville area into darkness, it also caused a light bulb to go on for leaders at Mercy Hospital Berryville. They realized the facility’s current generator would require an upgrade to meet the needs of the future.
“After the ice storm, when we were without traditional power for so long, we realized our current generator was not large enough to supply all the hospital’s needs,” explained Kristy Estrem, president of Mercy Hospital Berryville. “We had what we needed for patient care, but we had to use flashlights in some areas, which was a real inconvenience to our patients. Because our imaging technology had grown so much, we weren’t able to have all of our equipment on generator power.”
Given these constraints, hospital leaders realized they had outgrown the generator, which had been installed in 1998. They requested federal assistance, and were granted $198,000 to help cover the cost of a new $314,627 generator, which is now up and running.
The hospital’s old emergency generator could deliver 250 kilowatts of power, but the new generator upgrades that capacity to 550 kilowatts. It’s a power boost that brings peace of mind, because hospital leaders know in a time of need, the generator can support all the necessary functions.
“Given our growth and the advance in technology over the past decade, we are grateful to have been selected to receive appropriated funds to assist us in this project,” commented Estrem. “It will make us even more ready for the next power outage.”