Humboldt General Employees Lead 'Good Neighbor' Parking Effort

Three neighborly employees at Humboldt General Hospital are urging their co-workers to park on-site and leave the park parking to others.

At the Tuesday, May 28, meeting of the Humboldt County Hospital District Board of Trustees, hospital employees Rick McComb, Lonnie Hammargren and Louis Mendiola said they decided to ask their fellow staff members to be better neighbors after City of Winnemucca officials expressed some dissatisfaction with hospital employees using public parking spots at Vesco City Park during their shifts.

McComb told the hospital board there are actually 142 employee parking spaces, but on weekdays (the hospital's busiest time) there are only about 130 employees at work.

So the three men decided to meet with their co-workers in an effort to work on a solution that would work for all involved.

The group first decided to relocate some EMS vehicles and trailers to other areas in order to free up employee parking spots.

Additionally, the three began handing out car air fresheners that say: "Parking like a good neighbor . . . makes "GOOD SCENTS"—an excellent visual and olfactory reminder of the group's desire to be good neighbors.

To the three men's delight, staff members answered the call loud and clear.

Just two weeks after the memo went out to staff members to use employee parking lots, McComb wrote in all-staff email, "Wow! I'm impressed! I had to go help a clinic today. On my way there I noted that the city park parking spots across the street had but one car there and that was a patient. Thank you very, very much to everyone who has made an effort to relocate to HGH employee parking and improving our relationship with the city!"

City of Winnemucca officials were impressed as well. McComb and Hammargren attended the Tuesday, June 17, meeting of the Winnemucca City Council where they filled in members on the voluntary parking policy changes hospital staff members have made.

"They were very pleased and happy with this," said McComb of the officials. "They wanted to express their gratitude to all employees who have relocated to our employee parking areas."

McComb said employees have had some reservations in the past about utilizing employee parking located at the hospital's helipad, as crosswalks between Haskell Street and the hospital campus are not well marked.

He said hospital owner representative Mike Sheppard indicated a bid request has been submitted to have crosswalks repainted, however, and for a pedestrian activated flashing yellow light to be installed before the end of September.

The hospital has also installed high intensity flood lights on that parking lot, and McComb said maintenance crews will be reviewing the location of security cameras and installing additional units as warranted.

McComb said he is excited about the staff's willingness to share in a solution to the parking issues. "Being a good neighbor means compromise," he said, "and we plan to make good communication an ongoing event."