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Sutter Hospital in Santa Rosa evacuates amid threat from Kincade fire

Sutter Hospital in Santa Rosa evacuated 97 patients Saturday night under orders from Cal Fire.

Shaun Ralston, regional manager for Sutter Health, said the evacuation that began at 6:15 p.m. was calm and expected to last four hours as patients were dispersed to other area hospitals.

“It was deliberate and orderly and completely different from 2017 when we were literally running from the fire. Now we are very intentional,” Ralston said.

The extra time allowed staff to consult with patients and family members about options for transfer from the Mark West Road hospital to other facilities, he said.

Of the 97 patients evacuated, 13 were in the emergency room, 8 were in the neonatal unit, 10 were in the intensive care unit and remainder were surgery patients.

The babies in the neonatal unit were expected to go to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Ralston said, with a nurse accompanying each one.

The Sutter facility will reopen when the evacuation order is lifted, Ralston said. “We’re taking our orders from Cal Fire.”

Officials at Kaiser Permanente, also in north Santa Rosa, were not evacuating patients as of about midnight. The hospital was in an evacuation warning zone.

A spokesman for the hospital said Kaiser was monitoring weather and fire conditions and updating their contingency plans.

“We unfortunately have done this before,” said David Ebright, referencing patient evacuations during the 2017 firestorm.

“We’ll look at what’s available and what’s best and safest for them. If it becomes mandatory, then we will certainly comply.”

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