Tampa General Hospital prepares for RNC | News
Tampa, Florida - With the RNC in town, businesses will be closed, roads will be closed... but what about access to Tampa General Hospital? Hospital officials say services will not be interrupted but some of the details are still being worked out.
"We expect to be business as usual," says John Dunn, Communications Director for TGH.
There are air space restrictions but hospital officials say they are working out a plan that keeps the hospital's medical helicopter for transporting trauma patients in service.
Dunn says, "We may have to change a process here and there how we communicated and when. We've been talking with the FAA Secret Service and Tampa Police."
Access to the hospital by car may be a bit challenging too. "We should expect 30 to 45 minute longer trips at certain times of the day," says Cheryl Eagan, Senior VP for TGH's Support Services.
The Platt Bridge and Brorein Bridge and the Crosstown will be closed. Eagan suggests motorists take I-275 to Armenia and Howard inward to the hospital as the best route. "Law enforcement have told us they will make every effort to get vehicles in and out back in service," says Eagan.
TGH's medical staff focused its annual disaster training this summer on events surrounding the RNC. Dunn says, "It gave us a chance to brush of the plan get our staff out there handle a large number of people."
The heat is the Hillsborough County Health Department's main concern. Ryan Pedigo, Public Health Preparedness Director for the Hillsborough Health Department says, "An average temperature in August is 93 degrees with humidity at 90%."
Instead of sending patients to TGH, health officials are tentatively planning to set up a medical aid station tent at the parking lot next to the health department. "It's going to have several tents attached to it for shade some misting stations to help people cool down," says Pedigo.
They will also be publishing an ad in local papers reminding visitors to stay hydrated. A flier on how to "beat the heat" will be appearing in delegates' welcome packets, at bus stops, shelters and hotels.
Dunn with TGH says, "The goal is not to overload anyone hospital."
The RNC is such a fluid situation no plan is set in stone that's why starting Monday TGH officials will post updates especially on road closing on its website www.tgh.org.