State University of New York

Health Science Center at Brooklyn: Emergency Power Supply Systems

The Health Science Center at Brooklyn teaches students, conducts research in health-related areas, and provides care to patients in a 350-bed hospital. When power failures occur, hospitals have emergency electrical generators which are supposed to provide electricity until public power is restored. On August 14, 2003, a catastrophic failure of the northeastern electrical power grid caused much of the eastern half of the United States to be without electrical power. On that date, the Centerís emergency generators were activated, but the electricity produced by the generators could not, at first, be transferred to the Center because of the failure of two automatic transfer switches. The Centerís engineers were eventually able to get the generators to transfer power to the Center, but the Centerís hospital was without power for more than two hours. We audited the actions taken by the Center in addressing the failure of the emergency power supply system and found that appropriate corrective actions had been taken. We also noted that the Center had instituted formal testing and training in an effort to prevent such a failure in the future.

For a complete copy of Report 2004-S-60 click here.