Township Plans Sanatoga Court Evacuation Drill

SANATOGA PA – The same old, same old holds no interest for Lower Pottsgrove Fire Marshal Lew Babel.

The township fire departments, Sanatoga and Ringing Hill, annually hold a large fire drill that involves both units of the Genesis HealthCare complex on Evergreen Road: Sanatoga Center, its skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, and Sanatoga Court, its senior living community with suites and one-bedroom apartments. A large contingent of fire company volunteers turns out, ready to practice ensuring the safety of their residents and patients.

But drills of recent years have become too routine, repeating the same exercises or a variant of them, Babel thought. So as he discussed this year’s proposed schedule with Genesis local management, he proposed trying something different. Something new. Maybe even something they hadn’t tried before.

The fire marhsal’s suggestion? Evacuate Sanatoga Court of every person inside, and have them move next door into the first floor of Sanatoga Center.

Evacuation is what the complex’s emergency planning calls for in dire circumstances, Babel told the township Board of Commissioners during its meeting Monday (Aug. 6, 2018). “We’ve never done that,” he acknowledged. The folks in charge on Evergreen Road were unsure whether corporate management in Kennett Square PA would buy into the idea, Babel reported. “They’ve got no problem. Even liked it!,” he added with a grin.

And because, for Babel, there’s no time like the present, the big evacuation is scheduled for Aug. 23 (Thursday).

He invited commissioners to attend and watch the fire companies and other first responders in action. It just so happens the board’s regularly scheduled Aug. 23 meeting has been canceled – it will lack a quorum, President Bruce Foltz explained – so one or two commissioners might be available to act on Babel’s offer.

File photo from The Post Publications


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