Working Through The Storm

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Still at work, sat in the Jets Houseparent’s Office. I am Houseparent on Jets part time. 

Storm Ciara has certainly caused severe disruption across the UK, as well as here at school.  We’ve been on emergency power since Saturday, which is supplied by the 2 emergency generators on the roof of J Block. (Keeping the lights, sockets, lifts and other systems online.)  The main School is also on emergency power and has it’s own generators. However, due to the weather, school is currently closed and will remain so. During this severe weather.  Sam has 2 of the 4 main school generators running, keeping the “life support systems”, such as the CCTV, Pacs System, Fire Alarm System, Fridges and Freezers  and the school network running.

In the meantime, the village is still a mess. We have power lines down, telephone lines down and roads blocked. Back home, we have a generator from the electricity board keeping the house powered, due to Toby and his disabilities and how he needs the hoists and the lift working.

Due to the roads blocked and the lack of power, many staff cannot get into work. So, we are using the Day Unit for staff to sleep, so staff who are able to stay on, can do so and rest. I’ve not been home since Friday, due to the weather and am on Sleep In, at present. The staff who have stayed on, have shown real dedication, along with the volunteers who have come in and helped us stay afloat, by cleaning, helping with catering etc. Also I must thank our Head Karen and our Deputy Head Judy, who are coming in to help with care, even though school is closed. I make sure to Facetime Sam every evening, so the kids at home, can have a natter with me and can see I am OK. I miss the kids,  but I know they know why I am still at school.

We have declared  “Major Incident” Status and Karen, Sam, Judy and I are meeting every morning and having a progress meeting.

We’ll soldier on through and hopefully next week, Storm Dennis will pass and school can get back to normal. We’ve had a couple of trees down in the school grounds and a couple of broken windows, but we’re managing!

Dealing with Body Fluids

I have just come back from dealing with someone on Sick Bay, who had vomited all over the floor. Our school policy is to bleep Domestic Services during the day (7am – 3pm every day) or page me out of hours on a body fluid spill. So being that it was 11pm that this happened, I got paged to come to Sick Bay  to clear it up.  (I only live round the corner from school.)

So, I attended and needed the following kit:

  • Body Fluids Kit (We have one on each unit, including Sick Bay)
  • Blue Mop Bucket and a Blue Mop
  • 2 Bleach Tablets dissolved in 5L of water
  • Blue Paper Roll
  • Disposable Apron
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Safety Goggles
  • Wet Floor Sign

Once, I had everything I needed and I had the correct PPE; (Personal Protective Equipment) I put up a yellow “Wet Floor Sign and  sprinkled the absorbent powder onto the vomit. Using the paper roll, I slowly  scooped it up. and then used the spills kit hazardous waste bag to dump the blue roll and the vomit. Then using a socket mop and bucket, I washed the area of floor with diluted bleach solution, leaving the wet floor sign in place; until the floor has dried. The mop head went into the red infected laundry bag in the sluice room and will be taken down to the laundry, by the Unit Housekeeper in the morning.

Remember: When dealing with any body fluid, (regardless if it is urine, vomit, blood, faces or semen) you must wear PPE. It is safety first. – Wear disposable \ thick rubber gloves, an  apron and goggles. (when working with chemicals) You must also remember to stick to the correct colour coding of equipment. Please read this post, to find our  more information about colour coding when cleaning.

Blocked Drains and Leaking Water Mains

So it started with an emergency call out to D Block to backed up toilets. The plunger didn’t sort the problem so got my drain rods n rodded the drains. I hit a blockage I was unable to pull up and out, so I called Dynorod who used better tools than I had, plus a camera. We found out the drains are collapsing and further down the pipe, erosion has caused rust which catches stuff as it passes down the pipe. (I will let your imagination work that one out) Dynorod cleared the pipe so the loos now flush and don’t back up!

Later, I got a call regarding a water leak in the canteen. Water was coming up through the floor in the kitchen. I attended and tried to turn off the water at the stopcock but it was well and truly jammed! WD40, a pair of mole grips and a hammer didn’t solve this problem, so I had to phone the water board to come and switch it off at their stop valve in the loading Bay.  Sadly I could not get to it as it was buried under a load of soil and we do not have the special key to turn the valve. After the water was shut off, I went to the supermarket for bottles of water for the kitchen. I then had to remove metal units from the floor and dig a bit to expose the pipe to repair it. I’ve filled the hole and fixed the lino. Thankfully the leak was in the washup area and not the main kitchen!!  After that, I got my wet and dry up and sucked up the water, which had flooded the floor.

I’ve been told that the floor does not need digging up, they can use a flexible liner of some sort and a balloon. Sounds a bit dodgy to me, though if the floor in D block does have to come up it will cause chaos, thanks to that awful substance called ASBESTOS!!!! The floor tiles contain it and are currently safe as they are not disturbed. (In the changing rooms) it could see D block shut for over a week, which means closing the swimming pool while the changing rooms have the asbestos removed. That will not be cheap and could cause problems.

George’s Marvelous Medicine is not to marvelous!!

If your a parent, I am sure that you have at some point introduced the wonderful world of Roald Dahl and some of the most loved children’s stories; such as The Twits, Matilda and Fantastic Mr Fox. Recently, I have been reading George’s Marvelous Medicine to the younger boys. The book is about a boy called George, who makes up a magic medicine for his Grandma, which makes her grow to the size of the house. The next day, George’s dad gets George to make the magic medicine again, but this time it causes his greedy Grandma to use the medicine again and causes her to shrink so much, she vanishes, much to the despair of Georges Mum and Dad, who later accepts that she was becoming a nuisance anyway.

I let Kyrylo use my en-suite because due to a clog in the toilet, there was a backlog of people wanting to use the bathroom (Knowing they are not allowed to use the bath on the 2nd floor; as that is for the older boys. I only turned my back for 45 seconds, as I needed to go and get a towel for one of the other boys, to find Kyrlo had decided to switch on the spa bath and tip the contents of every shampoo bottle and every bottle of bubble bath into his bath water. This caused foam to go all over the bathroom and make a right mess! Of course, a cleaning veteran like me had no issues dealing with it, as I I used the wet and dry to suck up the water that overflowed and also the foam.

When reading the next chapter, I warned the boys not to try to make George’s Marvelous Medicine, as it could be dangerous and will make one mega mess! Kyle’s mum and dad thought it was funny, when I walked out the bathroom covered in foam!