Watch: Temple’s Liacouras Center is transformed into a medical facility
In the span of a weekend, a team of dedicated emergency responders transformed the North Broad Street arena into a surge medical facility ready for patient care as Philadelphia hospitals respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Within a day of the news that the Liacouras Center at Temple University would serve as an overflow medical facility to aid in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, a team of dedicated emergency responders descended on the site, standing up a bona fide field hospital on the arena’s floor.
After Friday’s announcement by Philadelphia officials that Temple had offered the site to serve as an overflow medical facility, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services delivered supplies—including cots, commodes, walkers, bathing equipment and medical monitoring equipment—on Saturday.
Members of Pennsylvania Task Force 1, a dedicated group of first responders from across the Greater Philadelphia region, and Liacouras Center staff quickly began setting up enough beds and medical equipment to provide care for more than 200 patients. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the City of Philadelphia’s emergency management team coordinated the preparation of the site.
The facility will be used as a potential surge hospital for patient care in the event that city hospitals are overwhelmed treating patients amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Similar sites have been set up in other parts of the U.S., including New York City, to support the response to the pandemic. If the Liacouras Center overflow facility does need to be used, it will likely be staffed by members of the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps and other volunteer healthcare workers.
Members of Pennsylvania Task Force 1 assemble one of more than 200 hospital beds in the Liacouras Center on Sunday, March 29, 2020. (PHOTO: Betsy Manning)
(Above) Members of Pennsylvania Task Force 1 set up specialized medical equipment to transform the Liacouras Center into a field hospital on Sunday, March 29, 2020. (PHOTOS: Ryan S. Brandenberg)
(Above) The Liacouras Center is prepared to serve as an overflow medical facility on Monday, March 30, 2020 to lessen the burden on city hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. (PHOTOS: Betsy Manning)
Philadelphia Fire Commissioner and Office of Emergency Management Director Adam Thiel delivers remarks during a news conference outside the Liacouras Center Monday, March 30, 2020. (Photo courtesy City of Philadelphia)