Silverdale hospital short on staff calls 911 for help after being overwhelmed with patients

Lionel Donovan (KING) - Tuesday

Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue was surprised to get a call from 911 dispatch on Saturday, sending them to St. Michael Medical Center, because the call wasn’t for a fire.

“The charged nurse from inside the emergency room called 911,” said Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue Chief Jay Christian. “The charging nurse said twice, 'we’re drowning,' conveying that they only had five nurses on duty and 45 patients in their waiting room, and she was asking for help from local firefighters to come work inside of the ER to help relieve some of that pressure.”

Fire crews that were dispatched spent an hour and a half supporting St. Michael’s ER staff by monitoring vital signs and cleaning beds.

St. Michael Medical Center sent KING 5 a statement that reads:

“At St. Michael Medical Center, similar to other hospitals in the state, we’ve been experiencing high patient volumes and staffing shortages. We continue to prioritize patients with the most urgent medical conditions, even when we are experiencing capacity challenges. We work to manage appropriate staffing levels and to balance capacity system-wide as effectively as we can. We recognize this is a frustrating time for our patients and staff and we appreciate the support of our partners as we work to meet the healthcare needs of the community."..