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Livingston HealthCare patients and staff are safe after being evacuated amid flooding

All Livingston HealthCare patients and staff are safe after rising flood waters Monday prompted the evacuation of the hospital.

Livingston HealthCare’s building is undamaged, but when floodwaters submerged its driveway Monday, hospital officials determined there was no safe way to enter or exit the facility.

“The past 24 hours have been crazy to be honest,” said hospital spokesperson Lindsey Pennell.

The hospital had its Incident Command team quickly develop a plan to transfer its eight patients to Pioneer Medical Center in Big Timber, Pennell said. Both hospitals are considered Critical Access Hospitals for the state. It took about an hour to successfully complete the handoff.

Pennell says Livingston HealthCare appreciates Pioneer Medical Center’s help, adding hospitals learned important lessons during the height of the COVID pandemic.

“We have learned how to respond to these unknown situations. We respond as a community, as a hospital, with kindness and swiftness and innovation,” Pennell said.

Pioneer Medical Center CEO Ian Peterson told MTPR he’s proud of how his team hustled to prepare for the sudden influx of new patients and is happy to help.

Livingston HealthCare says it will reopen only when officials are certain they can safely do so.

Details of alternate walk-in or emergency services can be found on Livingston HealthCare’s Facebook page.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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