Bay Pines VA to Conduct Emergency Exercise on Sept. 24 - Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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Bay Pines VA to Conduct Emergency Exercise on Sept. 24

September 22, 2014

BAY PINES, FL. – The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) will conduct a mass casualty exercise at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center on September 24 from 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. During the exercise, emergency vehicles and personnel will be onsite. Traffic entering the main medical center entrance will be minimally impacted. To avoid traffic delays, individuals are encouraged to use the east entrance (located near the VA Regional Office building) during the morning hours.

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, Treasure Island Fire Department, Lealman Fire and Rescue, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Pinellas County Hazardous Materials Response Team, and Sunstar Ambulance.

The Bay Pines VAHCS 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 our community partners in order 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."

"This exercise promotes training, continual readiness and validates our ability to effectively work with our partners during crisis situations," he said.

General questions and media inquiries about the exercise 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 3,800 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The organization is the fourth busiest VA health care system in the country in terms of patients served and is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and several other nationally recognized accrediting organizations. The Bay Pines VAHCS operates nine facilities to include the main medical center located in Bay Pines and outpatient clinics located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring.