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Steve Weirauch

Good Planning and Prep Nothing New for El Camino Health's Safety Manager

As the Environmental Health and Safety Manager for El Camino Health, preparing for emergencies, large or small, is a routine part of the job for Steve Weirauch. Be it an earthquake, a mass casualty situation, and yes, even a pandemic, a good safety manager has plans in place ready to go should the situation arise.

“We prepare for different emergencies all the time,” said Steve. “For this pandemic, we have a good surge plan in place to help us deal with whatever emergencies may arise and we can secure additional resources when we need it. Our biggest concern is always going to be staff burn-out in situations like this.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic first arrived early in 2020, Steve worked with other hospital staff to ensure critical information was sent to the county on a daily basis, such as PPE, ventilator, and HEPA filters inventory, as well as bed status, and established a communications hub on The Tool Box, El Camino Health’s Intranet, populating it with important documents for staff and physicians.

He also helped manage the launch of the hospital Command Center in the spring, when the pandemic first peaked, and was there daily, ensuring that staff working the Command Center day and night had what they needed to help manage the crisis.

It’s important to note that through November and December, when the number of COVID-19 patients far surpassed the number of patients the hospital treated in the spring, a Command Center was not opened at El Camino Health.

“That’s a credit to everyone here at El Camino,” said Steve. “We learned much during the first wave of the pandemic in the spring, and applied those lessons throughout the year so we were prepared when we started to see more COVID-19 patients in the summer. We prepare every day, and we are flexible and able to adapt when necessary.”