Bay Visions News Brief – Bay Pines Partners with the Community for Emergency Exercise - Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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Bay Visions News Brief – Bay Pines Partners with the Community for Emergency Exercise

September 2, 2016

BAY PINES, FL -- Dozens of VA and local community emergency personnel rushed to a small building located at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center. According to reports, inclement weather had damaged the building causing serious injuries to many inside.

Without delay, police, firemen and others responded to the scene, ensured the safety of the building and evacuated victims to the medical center’s emergency room. This was the scene at the medical center for the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System’s annual mass casualty exercise on Aug. 10.

The purpose of the exercise was to test the Bay Pines’ 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 included Seminole Fire and Rescue, Clearwater Fire Department, Largo Fire Department, Lealman Fire and Rescue, Madeira Beach Fire Department, St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue, Pinellas Park Fire Department, Pinellas Suncoast Fire Department, Pinellas 911 Communications Center, and Sunstar Ambulance.

Seminole Fire and Rescue took a key role in the event while providing support on the ground and also provision from within the hospital’s incident command center which was established to direct activity emergency rescue and transport operations.

Bay Pines is required by The Joint Commission to complete two emergency exercises annually, one of which must include community participation and influx of patients. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

According to Bay Pines leaders, it is extremely important that the organization be able to effectively partner with and work jointly with community partners when responding to an emergency or crisis situation. They said that while the primary mission is to provide exceptional health care services to America’s Veterans, VA has a humanitarian responsibility as a member of the community and must be ready to respond.

About Bay Visions News Brief
Bay Visions News Brief is a video news product line developed by the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System Office of Public Affairs and Medical Media Services. The news videos complement Bay Visions - a quarterly magazine distributed to Veterans, family members, VA employees and Volunteers, members of the general public and other stakeholders. For questions about Bay Visions News Brief or to share a story, please contact the Office of Public Affairs at

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About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation’s leading VA healthcare systems, employing more than 4,000 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. To learn more, please visit, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at