PASCO COUNTY, Fla.-- One immediate result of the storm is that Bayonet Regional Medical Center is empty. The hospital had to be evacuated last Wednesday night after lightning hit the hospital. The power went out and emergency generator could safely operate.
There is a backup generator, but only one power grid and that could not be safely used. Tampa General, for instance, has two power lines coming into the hospital and two paths for the 6 generators it has to prevent a total shutdown of power that happened at Bayonet Point. The end result is 209 patients needing to be relocated over a six hour period to other facilities.
45 ambulances, buses, and fire trucks responded after lightning hit and the power went out at Bayonet Point.
Bayonet Point CEO, Shayne George, said, “When the emergency generators tried to kick on and send power down the line, it created a life safety issue and what it did was created a dark, powerless environment in the hospital.”
The fire department made the call that everyone must go.
Pasco Fire Rescue spokesman, Anthony Fossa, said, “ When we realized power was not on, we made the decision to evacuate. Some of the patients were critical on ventilators, and they had battery backups, but that would last for only an hour.”
The hospital agreed that there was no other choice and the hospital can not run without backup power.
Meantime 10 Investigates found a July inspection of the hospital which stated that the hospital needed an evacuation plan, responding in case of a real fire. Everyone would need to be evacuated, even the most critical patients.
Shayne George said, "The power to the elevators went out and we had to use the stairs, but they had special boards and I’m happy to say even the most critical were able to be transferred to other area facilities.”
The Agency for Health Care Administration, AHCA, which oversees hospitals in the state, says that it is aware of the incident and it is under review. We are told it is likely AHCA investigators will come here for an inspection.
However, the agency says it never announces its inspections in advance to the hospital and certainly not to the media. Once there are results, it will become public and 10News will keep the story updated.
(© 2016 WTSP)