Maintaining a strong commitment to its patients’ welfare is priority one at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz. Aside from providing round-the-clock acute care, the hospital ensures its patients’ protection with safety systems.
The medical facility is responsible for hundreds of patients at one time at its 571-bed hospital. “Patient care falls under two categories ” first is medical, and second is safety. To jeopardize either would be catastrophic,” says Bert Gumeringer, manager of the facilities department at St. Joseph’s. Therefore, the hospital takes all precautions necessary to guarantee 100-percent protection at all times.
For this reason, St. Joseph’s enlisted the help of ATT Integrated Technologies (ATT) in Phoenix to upgrade its current fire safety system. The new system includes 30 control panels and a network controller.
Hospital Officials Diagnose Fire System Problem
In 1995, St. Joseph’s began to experience problems with its fire safety system. There were a number of root causes of these problems. First, the system was comprised of a series of nodes. If one node went off-line, the remainder of the series would be lost.
Second, every time hospital officials wanted to extend the system, the chips would have to be sent to Canada to be reprogrammed.
Once hospital officials made the decision to switch systems, they began to evaluate their options.
ATT Helps Medical Facility Find the Right Remedy
The next step for St. Joseph’s was to find an installing company that could design a system to its specifications. Thus, Gumeringer sought the assistance of Steve Grosvenor, president of ATT Integrated Technologies. Grosvenor has been the medical facility’s energy management control system vendor for years.
Technicians Breathe Life into New Fire System
The new system installed at St. Joseph’s consists of 30 Gamewell Identiflex 630 control panels. The unit is an analog addressable fire alarm control panel that features pushbutton self-programming.
In addition, the system includes a default alarm mode along with a 1,000-point history log to track all system activities. An interactive operator’s display and keypad enables hospital security to monitor and maintain the system. ATT Integrated Technologies also installed a network controller which is interconnected with the main system to form two operator workstations that monitor all panels in the system. One workstation is located in a newly-completed operations center control room. The second is located in the plant engineering office.
ATT Integrated Technologies also installed initiating devices, including 8,000 smoke detectors throughout the hospital to alert all patients and personnel of a possible fire. Technicians also put in signaling devices which are comprised of 7,000 strobes and chimes.
ATT Logs 20,000 Man-Hours, Nears Project Completion
Grosvenor says the most difficult part of this type of installation is retrofitting an occupied hospital and having to coordinate with hospital officials to complete patient areas.
To date, ATT Integrated Technologies has expended about 20,000 man-hours since beginning the job three years ago. The approximate cost of the installation, so far, is $3 million.