Bishop Tyrrell residents sweltering through heat wave

If you think you’ve had it tough during this scorching heat wave, spare a thought for the residents and staff at Bishop Tyrrell Place in Cundletown – they have had no air conditioning since December 27, 2017.

The air conditioning system at the residential aged care facility broke down at the worst time of year, with businesses and manufacturers being closed over the Christmas period.

“The essential issue that has caused us problems has been the timing of the failure and the inability to have technical people available to respond,” Anglican Care CEO, Colin Osborne said.

“Some local contractors have very kindly done whatever they can but the availability of the parts to fix the air conditioning system is extremely limited and therefore we’ve not been able to achieve our objective of repairs.”

The air conditioner appears to have already been three to five years old and superceded (although ‘new’) when the building was initially built, before Anglican Care took over Storm Village. Hence the difficulty in obtaining parts.

Another spokesperson for Anglican Care said that two portable air conditioners were installed straight away, with nine more being delivered today, January 9, to the facility. Twenty fans have also been operating non-stop.

“We’re doing the best we can. I really feel for the residents and staff,” she said.

In the interim, contingencies have been put in place for residents and staff, such as cooling collars, provision of cold water and beverages and cool pops, a buddy system and shortened shifts for staff. 

“It’s very distressing for our residents and staff and clearly we want to make sure that it is resolved as quickly as we can technically get it done,” Mr Osborne said.

“Quite frankly, when it was first drawn to my attention I simply said this doesn’t meet the ‘my mum, my dad’ test, which everything we do at Anglican Care we aspire to do, and despite our best efforts to try and expedite a recovery of this situation it just hasn’t been technically possible.”