"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Armed Law Enforcement in the ED

Beginning this weekend, there will be an armed law enforcement presence in the ED.  When I moved here 25 years ago, the hospital that I left was just beginning to have armed security in their ED.  A gang presence begin to evolve in the neighborhoods around the hospital and there was an attempted murder in the ED that was gang-related which prompted the change.  I thought at the time that it was nice to get out of that environment. 

Well, here we are 25 years later and we will now have armed deputy sheriffs in our ED.  Times have changed to the point where we need to protect our staff and our patients, especially during weekends.  EDs across the country are experiencing such challenges in protecting their staff as assaults on ED staff continue to rise.  The issues in our ED are primarily drug and alcohol related but nonetheless can still put our staff in a vulnerable position.  

We identified the prime coverage hours and we will have law enforcement on duty along with our security officers.  I am grateful to Sheriff Craig Robertson for his willingness to assist and his coordination of such a effort in a relatively short period of time.  I also appreciate the work of Jo Wilson, VP Operations, and Glenn Emerick, Director of Safety and Security, in making this happen.

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