Make us your home page
Instagram

Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point reopens after fire

HUDSON — There were no flashing lights, no line of ambulances around the corner when Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point reopened Tuesday morning.

Instead, the sun rose to a much more peaceful scene than that of last Wednesday night, when a lightning strike and fire forced the evacuation of all 209 patients.

The hospital opened its doors at 7 a.m. Administration told staffers to come in for their regular shifts and they began accepting patients. The first patient walked in shortly after opening to undergo scheduled lab work, hospital officials said. It was unclear how many of the patients who were evacuated would return.

"All's well," said hospital chief executive Shayne George. "Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point is very happy and glad to be open for business and taking care of the community."

The hospital, at 14000 Fivay Road, had to remain closed following the fire until state inspectors could check the complex's backup power system. The inspectors cleared the hospital to open on Monday evening.

Many of the patients who were evacuated were discharged from the hospitals that took them in, said Bayonet Point marketing director Kurt Conover, and some were staying in those hospitals for the remainder of their care. Patients will not be liable for the cost of their evacuation or transfer back to Bayonet Point, hospital officials said.

The patients who returned did so in private ambulances, not county or municipal vehicles. And amid much less chaos than when they left.

More than 70 ambulances lined up to haul patients away during following the fire, working late into the night. On Tuesday, ambulances dropped patients off intermittently under sunny skies.

One of the returners on Tuesday was Tom Rabuano, 65. He was admitted into Bayonet Point Aug. 30 after a car jumped a curb on Spring Hill Drive and hit him while he was walking, he said.

Rabuano underwent surgery to repair his shattered legs that day. He was evacuated to Oak Hill Hospital in Brooksville the next night.

Without elevators, the patients on the upper floors, like Rabuano, had to be carried down the stairs.

"It was something else going down the stairs getting around on a hardboard," he said from his bed inside the surgical intensive care unit.

The ordeal started when lightning struck the hospital's roof about 6:15 p.m. last Wednesday while the storm that would become Hurricane Hermine was lashing the region, George said last week.

The strike started a fire along the roof line that damaged the electrical system, killing the power at the hospital.

When the emergency backup generators came on, electricity flowed through the damaged wiring, George said, causing a "safety issue." The staff had to turn off the backup power and call for help.

The staff, with the help of dozens of firefighters and the dozens of ambulances from multiple counties, moved every patient to nearby hospitals in about six hours, mostly in the dark.

Rabuano of Spring Hill said he's more comfortable being back at Bayonet Point, but the move didn't bother him.

"Extraordinary times, everybody's got to do extraordinary things," he said.

Contact Josh Solomon at (813) 909-4613 or [email protected] Follow @josh_solomon15.

Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point reopens after fire 09/06/16 [Last modified: Thursday, September 8, 2016 3:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]