Fire leaves McDuffie County health workers scrambling

By: Justin Fabiano Email
By: Justin Fabiano Email

News 12 at 6 O'Clock / Thursday, June 2, 2011

THOMSON, Ga. --- McDuffie County Health Department workers don't have a facility to work in after a fire destroyed 14 thousand square feet of their building.

"We are establishing temporary clinics," McDuffie County Nurse Manager Kathy Linebarger said. "Hopefully we'll have everything up and running as most efficiently as we can by Monday."

They're working out of the Department of Family and Children Services right now, and Linebarger even said private Thomson doctors have offered up some space to help out.

"Everyone has been very helpful to get us back on our feet as quickly as possible," she says.

It could be awhile until the department does get back on its feet.

"A job this big, you like to say you can get people in here and get it done in a couple weeks," Servpro Operations Manager Ted Leverett said.

A couple weeks is just to tear the ruined stuff down. It will take about a month before the building is done being renovated and workers can move back in. Because the damage is so widespread, cleaners say they have to take the time to fix it right.

"If you leave anything you can get odor back," Leverett said.

An odor nurses don't want to come back.

"It has a very strong sort of electric smell," Linebarger said.

Even though nurses say the damage stinks, they tell patients not to worry.

"We'll do the best we can to make sure the patients get what they need," Linebarger said. "They still get the same service. We may delay a particular type of service."

They are delaying some services like exams, but not too many. Nurses say you can still get your medications, and they're also trying to keep patients in the loop during all these changes. They're leaving recorded messages on their phone line providing instructions for visits and information about when things will be back to normal.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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