A burst water main

‘It is five o’clock on a Friday afternoon. Right after the doors of the GHZ location Zuidplas have been closed off and everyone has gone home, a water main bursts on the second floor. At that moment I am unsuspectingly celebrating the weekend. The next morning the manager of the building is called by a local resident: water is running to the pavement and the street through the gable and large puddles of water have formed. The manager calls me this time, and when I arrive at the polyclinic a little while later, the firemen are busy pushing water into the lift shaft with pulling mechanisms, which is really a nice action- eight firemen that are assisting, it is getting on well. The water is being pumped outside into the sewer, through the ground floor.

Electrical cabinets under water

The fire officer says: ‘I’m afraid you are not going to manage when we have disappeared, partly because you have power failure in the building.’ He calls Salvage, and after an hour Jan Kees is standing in front of me. I can tell you that you cannot see the wood for the trees when you are wading through the corridors where the water is six centimetres high. Jan Kees is still aware of everything, he immediately springs into action. He puts me at ease and says that he will do anything to put things right again at the polyclinic before Monday morning. Right after that he makes a round of calls, and within a few hours a team arrives with a water vacuum cleaner at the ready, after a while followed by an electrician who has to give his all: all electrical cabinets are under water. An emergency power unit has to be installed as well.

The polyclinic is open

The Salvage coordinator gives us advice about the follow-up procedure and also organizes a visit from the loss adjuster. The X-ray machine is calibrated again, computers are dried and tested. It all looks neat and everything is in working order again. On Sunday fans are running all day to get everything dry. On Monday morning the polyclinic may receive patients just as usual, the doors will be open at 8 o’clock.’