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San Diego-based Empowered Energy Solutions said its solar system costing $184,000 to install will save the Santee clubhouse $338,000 in utility costs over the next 10 years and $824,000 over the next 25 years “We’re looking forward to this investment resulting in a reallocation of funds from our electricity bill to our mission to provide programming and services for the children of our community,” said Forrest Higgins, CEO, BGCEC. “We also see this as a learning opportunity to help expand our kids’ knowledge of going-green and be a good example of reducing the carbon footprint.” The solar system features 193 solar panels measuring 39-by-66 inches and covering about 3,600 square foot atop the Santee clubhouse roof. In addition to the 260-watt, poly-crystalline, black-frame photovoltaic solar panels, the system includes new HVAC controls and a LED lighting retrofit. The system features Empowered Energy Solutions’ Guardian energy monitoring and control system.

The company said the Santee clubhouse marks its first installation in San Diego County of the Guardian system. Without the solar system, the company estimated the BGCEC’s current monthly utility of about $3,000 would increase to $12,500 a month after 25 years with a total payout during that time of $1.9 million. La Mesa Chamber Honors `Local Heroes’ The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce recently held its eighth annual “Salute to Local Heroes” dinner. The event included installation of board members, dinner, silent auction and recognition of seven local heroes from law enforcement, fire district, paramedic field and retired senior volunteer patrol. Honored at the event were: Jon Alva and Robert Ivery, paramedics, American Medical Response; Capt. Dave Hardenburger, Heartland Fire and Rescue; Detective Bucky Wright and Master Officer Lillie Chase, La Mesa Police Department (LMPD); Nonie Beach and Ray Rendina, La Mesa Police Department Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol (RSVP).

Alva, a paramedic for the past three years, recently responded to a critically-injured motorcyclist who had hit the back of a semi-truck at a high rate of speed. Alva’s communication and clinical skills kept the patient alive. Ivery, a paramedic for more than 30 years, also serves as a training officer and instructor in local paramedic training programs. Hardenburger responded to a call about an 18-month-old child who was not breathing and without a pulse. Hardenburger pulled out the grape causing the choking and helped the child regain a pulse. Wright, who works in the LMPD Special Investigations Unit, helped solve a series of Ford Ranger vehicle burglaries and worked with the U.S. Marshals to arrest a felony suspect who had been on the run for eight months. Chase rescued a 17-year-old suicidal female who was ready to jump off a bridge over Grossmont Center Drive. Beach has volunteered more than 4,000 hours since joining RSVP in November 1998. Rendina has volunteered more than 5,100 hours since joining RSVP in February 1998. Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber Helping Students Plan Futures The Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce is working with the Mountain Empire Unified School District to host a Career Day for about 600 middle and high school students on March 11. Representatives of area businesses, organizations, colleges and agencies are expected to attend to inform students about future education and employment opportunities and broaden horizons. The chamber and the Alpine Union School District held a similar Career Day in February with middle school students. Participants included Back Country Land Trust, Barons Market, California Bank & Trust, Comfort Keepers, Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges, Grand Canyon University, Kamps Propane, Mercy Medical Transportation, Mountain Health & Community Services, Primary Residential Mortgage, Project Cornerstone, REACH Air Medical Services, San Diego County Parks and Recreation, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Sharp HealthCare, State Farm Insurance, The Art Institutes, U.S. Sharp Grossmont Hospital to Open New Pharmacy and Lab An important milestone was recently celebrated in the progress of the taxpayer-funded construction of a new Heart and Vascular (H&V) Center at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa. While the three-story, 71,000-square-foot H&V building is scheduled for final completion later this year, construction was recently completed of the first phase of the project, which was completion of new pharmacy and clinical testing laboratory on Level A, which is set to open in March to begin serving patients. A ribbon-cutting dedication ceremony for the pharmacy and lab was held on Feb. The H&V Center’s new 6,700-square-foot pharmacy will replace the hospital’s existing 3,100-square-foot pharmacy, said Dr. The previous pharmacy space will be used for other hospital purposes, including pathology work consisting of laboratory examination of body tissue samples for diagnostic or forensic purposes. “The last upgrade to the existing pharmacy was in 1997, so we’re overdue and looking forward to serving patients with the most modern equipment and technology and the latest design that will improve efficiency and production,” Schell said. “Our new pharmacy will help us increase our current capacity of 90,000 medication orders a month. Our workload has been increasing by several hundred orders every month for the past several years.” Schell said the new pharmacy also will feature a retail operation so that all patients at their discharge from the hospital can get prescriptions filled at the hospital instead of an outside retail store. He also said the new pharmacy will provide extra space for research studies for patients needing investigational drug therapies.

In addition, the new 13,000-square-foot laboratory will replace the hospital’s existing 10,000-square-foot laboratory, said Chris Crawford, hospital laboratory director. However, blood draws will continue at the existing lab area, she said. “The new lab will give us a smoother workflow resulting in greater capacity and a quicker turnaround time for specimen examination and processing,” Crawford said.

“We also will have a Clinical Resource Room available for ongoing training sessions, validation of new instrument technology and provide a place for student reference information.” Crawford said new large refrigerator equipment with a capacity of 26,000 test tubes, which will permit the hospital to double the storage time of most specimens. “We are also excited about the new automation, robotics and auto-verification technology that will help our efficiency at inventory management,” she said.

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