BAR HARBOR – Power outages are common during winter, especially in the isolated areas of Mount Desert Island. Thanks to the purchase of a new emergency generator, MDI Hospital is ready for anything Mother Nature has in store.
Severe weather can cause major problems for places reliant on electricity, especially when located in remote locations.
“It’s kind of like being on a ship, I mean we literally are on an island,” said MDI Hospital Director of Physical Plant Services Doug Springer. “We do lose power frequently, and it is an absolute necessity for any hospital, not just ours.”
The campaign for a new emergency generator at the hospital began in 2016. The old one served its’ purpose for more than 35 years, but it was time for an improvement.
“We weren’t covering all the areas of the hospital,” said Springer. “For example, our CAT scanner couldn’t run when we were on emergency generator. We couldn’t perform surgeries because of air handler issues that weren’t supported by the generator.”
The project cost a total of $2.6 million. The Manton Foundation offered the hospital a $1 million challenge grant, and the community responded.
“Our community was remarkably generous, our employees contributed over $25,000 to this effort, but the community really came through in a very strong way,” said MDI Hospital President & CEO Arthur Blank.
The hospital staff worked closely with contractors for smooth transition from the old generator to a new power source.
“We certainly sized this with lots of additional power,” said Blank. “We tried to incorporate whatever we could anticipate about our needs, so we are expecting this generator to have a 20 – 25 year life.”