Letter: An example of great neighbors

An example of great neighbors

Editor of the Reformer:

On the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 17, 52 residents of the Thompson House were evacuated as a precaution after a small fire in the lower level laundry room set off the automatic sprinkler system and the smoke alarms. In a few minutes, the residents were moved safely outside. They sat in the shade and were served water, cranberry juice, and ice cream. Our neighbors, brought more water and chatted with residents while fire, rescue, state, and local police arrived. Peter Lynch, assistant chief of the Brattleboro Fire Department coordinated the response.

Also responding to the evacuation were Brattleboro Memorial Hospital personnel including Medical Director Kathleen McGraw, Michelle Rowland, and many others who immediately offered assistance. The residents were assessed; everyone was in good health, no one was hurt, and all were coping with the excitement. Even Steve Gordon, President and CEO of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital was in attendance, and offering assistance from BMH.

With evening rapidly approaching, and in consultation with both fire and rescue and BMH staff, we decided to temporarily move the residents to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital where a focused response team of BMH staff was waiting. They accommodated us in the Brew Barry conference room and cafeteria. The dietary staff members from BMH and Thompson House worked together to serve a delicious dinner for everyone while each resident was individually evaluated by Dr. McGraw and her medical staff. No injuries or ill-effects were found among the residents.

We take the safety of our residents and staff seriously, and it is very satisfying to see that systems and training we have in place at Thompson House worked so well. The sheer number of people from our community who came to offer support was astounding. We wanted to express our sincere gratitude for the help of our neighbors, family, friends, and off-duty staff who all responded when we needed them. We must also note the friendly and effective response of our colleagues at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, as well as the fire and safety crews and police for their quick, personal and professional response. Thank you all for being such great neighbors.

Dane Rank, Administrator, Sept. 1


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