State rates hospital buildings on earthquake safety

Posted at 7:41 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 22:41:25-04

BAKERSFIELD, CA. — The two major quakes hitting Ridgecrest this month have acted as a wake up call for some residents to be better prepared.

But if a major shaker hits Kern County again -- are our local hospitals up to seismic safety code?

Hospitals are one of the most crucial resources during a natural disaster.

Sam Itani, the Operational Executive with Adventist Health, says their hospital is ready.

"We are taking a proactive approach, to our preparedness. We don't take it for granted, we understand we live in an earthquake zone," said Itani.

The California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development gives medical buildings a seismic safety rating on a scale from 1 to 5 about every two weeks.

The most recent assessment was on July 11th.

One means the building poses a high risk of collapsing and five -- the lowest chance of collapsing.

According to the state, Adventist Health Bakersfield's emergency department has a five rating.

But that is not the case for all local hospitals.

According to the state, Good Samaritan Hospital in Oildale has four buildings on its campus. In total, their average rating is 2.5.

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, with a state average of three, was evacuated after the initial 6.4 quake.

However, no major structural damage was reported following the back-to-back shakers.

According to the recent state data, Memorial Hospital has an average rating of three, while Mercy Southwest Hospital has an average rating of four.

Click here to read the full state report.