NORWOOD, Mass. — Nearly 100 people gathered Sunday to push for the Norwood Hospital to get rebuilt and reopened quickly.
“We’re just so eager for the community to heal after the devastating loss and flood of last year,” said Rev. Michele Allan of First Congregational Church.
The hospital shut down one year ago after a severe storm flooded the building.
Hospital staff and patients had to quickly evacuate as the water rushed in, leaving cars outside underwater.
“It’s very disconcerting for us as the employees of the hospital to not know the future of our hospital,” said Kathy Reardon, a nurse at Norwood Hospital.
Reardon and other Norwood Hospital nurses have been working at other hospitals for the last year, wondering when they can return to their jobs.
“It’s just devastating that we have to go travel farther to go to work,” said Reardon.
First responders are also concerned.
Firefighter Paul Ronco says transport times have doubled and even tripled now that they’re forced to bring patients to other hospitals without having Norwood open.
“It’s probably more like 45 minutes to an hour and a half depending on what hospital we go to and that is really putting a strain on our EMS system, where we only have one advanced life support ambulance in town, we’re relying on surrounding towns for mutual aid,” said Paul Ronco, president of Norwood Firefighters Local 1631.
He said surrounding towns are also feeling the toll of no longer having a nearby emergency room, stroke center and cardiac services when every minute counts.
“We’re hoping there’s a quick turnaround, that it is rebuilt and we can get back to normal, but that being said things take awhile to get built,” said Ronco.
Last week Steward Health Care, the company that owns Norwood Hospital, told Boston 25 News they have plans to rebuild the hospital and will share details in the coming weeks.
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