Staffers called area providers to find available beds for the nearly 80 patients at Sutter Santa Rosa at the time, including babies in the hospital's neonatal intensive-care unit and pregnant mothers in labor.
By 9 a.m., more than 200 people including 77 patients, 100 community evacuees and hospital staff had been transported to hospitals in Santa Rosa, Novato, Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco.
Allen said she was thankful for how the team remained focused on ensuring the safety of evacuees even while many of them were dealing with concerns over the fate of their own homes. The homes of more than 40 hospital employees were destroyed by the fire, according to Allen, including more than 30 physicians.
"It touched really close to home for all of us," Allen said. "Whether you lost your home or not, you know someone that did."
The evacuation itself was a first for the hospital and for the health system. The mobilization was coordinated from a command post at Sutter's Sacramento headquarters. It was a scenario the health system had trained for in drills, but never tested to this extent, according to Gerard.
Allen said she drew from the experience she gained in 2014 when she organized a one-day move of all patients and staff from an older facility 3 miles away to the then brand-new Sutter Santa Rosa. That effort took two years of planning.
"I knew the process required us to go department-by-department and create a flow," Allen said.
A similar mobilization took place at Kaiser Permanente's Santa Rosa Medical Center. Staff evacuated 130 patients over three hours as fire destroyed a trailer park behind the hospital and flames began to hit one end of the facility.
The bulk of patients were transferred to Kaiser's San Rafael Medical Center, about 40 miles south of Santa Rosa, while other patients with more specialized needs were taken to other local hospitals.
Like the staff at Sutter Santa Rosa, clinicians at Kaiser Santa Rosa continued to work while faced with uncertainties over the well-being of their own loved ones and homes.
"My wife and daughter had to escape through flames to get out" of their home, said Dr. Joshua Weil, assistant physician-in-chief for hospital operations at Kaiser Santa Rosa. Weil led the hospital's evacuation effort on Oct. 9. "Once they were out of that situation and I knew they were safe, then I was able to focus on the work at hand. I think that was how it was for most people."
More than 200 hospital employees have lost their homes, according to Judy Coffey, Kaiser senior vice president and area manager for the Marin-Sonoma area.