Hospital staff worked with phones, flashlights to evacuate patients after Hudson fire

HUDSON, Fla. (WFLA) – It was without a doubt the worst-case scenario. A Hudson hospital lost power Wednesday because a lightning strike caused an electrical fire.

This was a chaotic casualty, courtesy of Hermine, which has since been declared a hurricane.

A massive lightning strike knocked out the power completely Wednesday night around 6 p.m. More than 200 patients at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson were left in the dark. Doctors and nurses scurried to get everyone out safely.

‘What that did, it created a completely dark, powerless environment in the hospital,” Shayne George, CEO of RMC Bayonet Point said.

It was a race against the clock to get patients out quickly. Dozens of ambulances from as far away as Orlando rushed in to help.

The hospital CEO talked about the desperation staff experienced. “We were working with cell phones and flashlights to begin the process of evacuating patients,” he told News Channel 8.

All patients were transported safely and are now receiving medical treatment at other Tampa Bay area hospitals.

Because it violates regulation to operate a hospital without an emergency generator, Bayonet Point will not be open until Monday, as crews work continuously to fix the power.

Until then, nearby urgent care centers are helping with the possible influx of patients during the upcoming holiday weekend. For bumps, bruises, scrapes and cuts or any other small injury, places like MedExpress on State Road 52 are ready and prepared for patients.

“Yeah, absolutely. We always look forward to being able to serve the community and be a useful resource,” Dr. Nick Patel said.

With the urgent care less than five minutes from Bayonet Point, hospital administrators are recommending MedExpress be used for smaller emergencies. If someone is experiencing a full-scale emergency or any type of trauma, they can still come to Bayonet Point, but the patient would then be transported to another hospital.

In addition, 911 is operating as usual and transporting patients on a regular basis.

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