Priority Systems Makes a House Call

Thu, 09/29/2011


When Priority Systems gets a call for service, the situation typically is a software issue or  some other temporary glitch that can be handled with a part and some technical expertise. But when a local healthcare system called, the issue was more environmental than anything else. Unprecedented flooding caused by  massive rain storms in September  brought Harrisburg, PA in direct contact with the Susquehanna River, as well as the central mailing operation that handled two area hospitals. Without power and amidst rising water, the facility’s manager reached out to Priority for help in what became a house call the company had not  seen in its 25 years. The scene was “organized chaos” when Michael Stevens, General Services Manager arrived. The mail center was without power, as was the entire city grid. The healthcare system’s mailroom center staff were moving equipment, files and other assets out before any major flooding hit the building. Timing was critical as the rain continued to fall. Stevens and Doug Resh, Field Supervisor, went right to work to disconnect and move two Hasler WJ250  mailing systems and a G2 Accounting System  out of harm’s way to a storage area upstairs.

“The scene was organized chaos,” Stevens says. “When I arrived, several departments were clearing out PC equipment into moving vans that were staged in the parking lot. It wasn’t the typical service call we normally deal with. That’s for sure.”

The building was flooded afterward with about two feet of water where the systems had been. It was expected to be out of use for several weeks. So Priority went back to the site a week after the rain to set up the systems in a temporary site nearby while the primary building was being dried out.

Central Pennsylvania was hit particularly hard during the record rainfall that came on the heels of Hurricane Irene. The Susquehanna River just a few blocks away wreaked havoc on a long, wide section of the region with flooding that spurred evacuation orders for more than 100,000 people and a complete electrical shutdown of the city.

As the main mailing hub for the integrated healthcare network, the mailing center  processes a couple of thousand pieces of mail each day between two local healthcare facilities in Harrisburg.

The equipment also includes a viewing station loaded with iMCM G2 accounting software, a vital piece of technology that helps the mailroom better manage its shipping and receiving functions.

“We were extremely grateful for the fast response we received from Priority,” said the operations manager of the site. “With all that was going on throughout the city and the state of Pennsylvania, it was incredible how well the entire evacuation went.”