September 5, 2013
BAY PINES, FL. – The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) will conduct a mass casualty exercise at the main medical center campus on September 25 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. During the exercise, emergency vehicles and personnel will be onsite. Traffic entering and exiting the east entrance (near the VA Regional Office building) will be minimally affected.
The purpose of the exercise is to test the Bay Pines VAHCS's mass casualty plan, mass casualty support operations, Incident Command Center (ICC) and integration with community police, fire and emergency medical agencies. Community agencies participating in the exercise include Seminole Fire Rescue, Largo Fire Rescue, Lealman Fire and Rescue, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and Sunstar Ambulance.
The Bay Pines VA is required by The Joint Commission to complete two emergency exercises annually, one of which must include community participation.
"It is critical that we are able to work with the community to respond to emergency situations," said Dean Armstrong, Emergency Manager, Bay Pines VAHCS. "While our primary mission is to care for Veterans, we also have humanitarian responsibilities as a member of the community and must be ready to respond."
General questions and media inquiries should be directed to Jason Dangel, Public Affairs Officer, Bay Pines VAHCS, at 727-398-6661 extension 5031.
About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation's leading VA healthcare systems, employing more than 3,500 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The Bay Pines VA is accredited by The Joint Commission and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. The healthcare system is also a three-time winner of the Robert W. Carey Circle of Excellence Award, the VA’s top honor for quality achievement. The healthcare system operates nine facilities, including the main medical center, located in Bay Pines, and outpatient clinics in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring. Every year Bay Pines VAHCS treats nearly 100,000 Veterans while providing a full range of high-quality medical, psychiatric, and extended-care services in outpatient, inpatient, nursing home, and home care settings.