Pasco releases 911 calls from Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point

Posted at 11:36 PM, Sep 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-12 23:36:37-04

ABC Action News obtained several 911 calls made by hospital staff and patients the night an entire hospital was evacuated.

The audio was a little more than 20 minutes long and the calls were made the evening of August 31st from Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Pasco County.

"We need a generator. Our generator is out of service. We have people on ventilators," one caller said.

Another caller said, "I don't see no more flames, but I see a lot of smoke". The caller continued, "The flames were real high before".

Hospital officials believe lightning knocked out the power and their back-up system, starting an electrical fire in the generator room. More than 200 patients were transferred from Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point to other hospitals because the back-up system was not working.

"We have no way of getting any medication or pulling supplies or anything so I need you guys to get up here or send someone up here please," another caller said.

Dispatchers were bombarded with phone calls. Emergency Services Director Kevin Guthrie said he was impressed by how calm his dispatchers remained during the emergency.

"When you go and look at the guidelines these call takers take on a day to day basis, there is no cut guideline for evacuating an entire hospital," Guthrie said.

Guthrie said crews responded as quickly as possible. He said a rescue unit happened to be at the hospital, dropping off a patient and the first fire engine arrived 5 minutes later. He said they requested a large number of units to help evacuate patients.

Guthrie said it took about 3 days to figure out exactly who showed up and with what that night. He said that did not delay any patient transfers, but one of his supervisors is trying to improve their system for mutual aid requests in case they have another major emergency in the county.

"Making sure we do a better job in the future of getting exactly what resource we have coming and actually identifying it," Guthrie said.

ABC contacted the hospital for a comment about the 911 calls made the night of the fire.

J.C. Sadler, Spokesperson from Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, emailed a statement to ABC Action News. She wrote, " The calls clearly reflect the range of emotions in the moments following the power outage. We are very proud of the immediate, calm, professional, and patient-centered focus that our team demonstrated in each of their calls to 911 and throughout the course of the evacuation."

The hospital reopened 5 days after the incident.