Fires Force Evacuations at San Diego County Medical Facilities
On Monday, a hospital and several nursing homes in San Diego County evacuated hundreds of patients as wildfires continued to devastate the region, the Fresno Bee reports (Hoffman/Flaccus, Fresno Bee, 10/22).
About 200 patients were transported by school bus and ambulance from Pomerado Hospital and nursing homes in Poway, a San Diego suburb.
Some patients were in hospital gowns and wheelchairs, carrying their medical records in plastic bags as they were driven to other facilities (Welch et al., USA Today, 10/22).
All of Pomerado Hospital's 75 patients were transported to other sites by Monday morning (San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/23) (News low in story).
An ambulance drove patients from the Via Rancho Bernardo skilled nursing home to the Del Mar racetrack (Bernstein et al., Los Angeles Times, 10/23) (News low in story).
The wildfires have killed one person and injured about three dozen, according to hospital officials countywide. At least 13 firefighters were injured fighting the blazes; three are in critical condition (San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/23).
President Bush and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) both have declared states of emergency for seven Southern California counties, expediting state and federal disaster relief (USA Today, 10/22).
The wildfires have forced almost 300,000 residents in the region to flee their homes (San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/23).