24-Seven Cooling adopts emergency triage system to prevent supermarket food being ruined in heatwave

Engineers at 24-Seven Cooling have dealt with more than 400 calls in a fortnight to repair equipment breaking down in the heatwave.

Normally staff at 24-Seven Cooling would handle around 90 calls in that time, but the scorching weather has caused both fridges and air conditioning in supermarkets to fail.

A team of 18 engineers has been working up to 18 hours a day, including at weekends in temperatures of up to 40C, to help stores all over the Midlands get back up and running.

Ean Jones, managing director of 24-Seven Cooling, based on the Landywood Enterprise Park, says it has been the most extraordinary period in the company’s 17-year history.

“A lot of the problems have been caused by old compressors failing and burning out in the heat, as well as water leaking from air conditioning systems,” he said.

“Our engineers have been working 15 to 18 hours a day in plant rooms where the temperature has been up to 40C. They’ve had to drink loads of water and our vans are air conditioned. Even so it has been pretty arduous and it’s certainly stretched us thin. It’s not the hottest temperatures we’ve ever had, but it’s the longest hot spell.”

The situation has been so bad that the business has had to adopt a hospital style triage system to ensure the most serious issued were prioritised.

Mr Jones praised his hardworking team, saying their quick response had saved thousands of pounds worth of food from going to waste.

“I would like to thank all our staff for the way they have coped throughout the summer as calls have more than quadrupled. Given the circumstances, they were exceptionally professional and have done a brilliant job.”

24-Seven Cooling was formed by Ean Jones and Paul Proud in 2001. The two partners have more than 60 years of combined experience in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. Customers include leading supermarkets, convenience stores, processing factories, funeral homes, pharmacies and childcare providers. The company has also carried out vital work in the health sector at Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital and elsewhere.