Tampa Osteopathic Hospital

Following serious marital discord (my fault), I had pretty much given up on life but Ray Rooney got me to go back to Bay View Hospital for a short interval and then I found a hospital in Tampa Florida that could use my services.  It was owned by Buddy Beville D.O. and was a nice little osteopathic hospital.  I don’t think it’s possible for me to explain the being that was Buddy Beville. ; maybe later.  I moved to Tampa in 1971 and was overjoyed to finally be busy and actually needed again.  The sunshine, after leaving Ohio in February, the fresh air following wonderful spring storms.  One day, I was doing a surgery when all the lights went out.  The nurses quickly grabbed flashlights and thankfully I was near the end of the procedure and finished it under flashlights.  I was told this was the way it was done.  I complained to the administrator and after some weeks, we had an emergency generator.  I had occasion to require the emergency generator more than once until one day…the lights went out….oh, did I tell you there were no windows in the OR, so it got spelunking dark…and I asked what happened to the emergency generator.  They said Manny Zuniga, the maintenance man, had gone home and nobody knew how to start the generator.  I finished that procedure with flashlight power and then found Manny and learned to start the generator myself.  More than once in weeks following, I had to break scrub and go start the emergency generator myself then re-scrub and finish the procedure.  I complained aggressively to Mr. Anderson the administrator who suffered mildly from Tourettes syndrome.  In a few weeks we finally had an emergency generator that self started.  If one has never experienced thunderstorms in Tampa, they have truly missed some excitement.

In a similar realm of function as a trauma surgeon, Ray Rooney and I had talked about the need for emergency logistics.  Tampa had young highschool girls we called Osteoettes who put time in at the hospital, running chores and some minor patient care duties.  I decided to show the staff what it would be like if we had to deal with a disaster.  We chose the day and the girls got made up into the wildest goriest makeup they could manage and they were delivered en masse to the hospital to show the staff what such an onslaught would be like, what it would require logistically and physically.  They all had tags with a diagnosis, the nurses learned triage and pharmacy and services discovered the manner to deal with all the needs that were posed.  The second time we did this, I think a full year later, Tampa Civil Defense people and newspapers came and I’m quite sure that this was the beginning of Hurricane Disaster Drills and more.  It got way out of hand.  The first year the city had a disaster drill, they had a plane crash into Tampa stadium…with many busloads of students dressed to the hilt.  Two firemen had heart attacks in transporting people in the heat of outdoor Tampa.  I know that I can feel responsible for Disaster Preparedness in Florida.

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