Completion of Lambton College field hospital a collaborative community effort (GALLERY)

Lambton College pandemic field hospital April 2020 (submitted photo)

The transformation of Lambton College’s gymnasium into an emergency field hospital is now complete, thanks to the collaborative effort of a number of community organizations.

The City of Sarnia said over the past week, $85,000 has been raised by the Petrochemical Industrial Association, the Sarnia Construction Association, Bluewater Power, and Matthew Hay at BMO Nesbitt Burns to get the hospital ready for use, if needed.

Acting City Emergency Management Coordinator Ron Smith said Bluewater Health reached out to the city asking for a back-up facility, in case of an overflow of pandemic patients.

Smith said he then called Rick Perdeaux of Toolrite Engineering to get things started.

“He literally wrote down a sketch idea on a piece of paper, took a picture of it, sent it over to me, I said ‘yup, looks good, I trust you,’ and off to work he went. I didn’t hear from him again for another six days, and on Thursday evening he called me and said ‘hey, I’m ready to install for Good Friday.'”

Smith said Perdeaux, and George Irving of Rock Technical Solutions, came with the design and got to work.

“All of those good folks went to work to doing this, it’s the only thing they did for an entire week, making this happen. LiUNA stepped up, they donated labour, so five individuals showed up and we put this entire thing together on a Friday morning, and there we have it,” said Smith. “So it’s a stainless steel partition, it’s eight feet high and eight feet all around, and we can provide 12 individual dividers for privacy and sanitary reasons for those patients.”

Smith said the facility has 100 beds.

“So that was Home Depot and Tepperman’s. I called them up directly and said ‘hey, this is what I’m needing,’ they said ‘sure!’ They threw them on the trucks, drove them from wherever their storage facilities were and off they came.”

Smith said Lambton College has been a fantastic, gracious host.

He also said the city is now prepared in case something like this ever happens again.

“We now own all of these products and we are going to be able to store them, so now we have like a mobile hospital. Whenever we need this, whether it’s our community or another, we’re there to help, we’re there to facilitate that need.”

To view photos of the field hospital, click here.