This is just a drill

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF RE­PORTS news@cov­

Newton Med­i­cal Center will hold a drill to pre­pare em­ploy­ees for hos­tile and live shooter sit­u­a­tions at 9 a.m. Thurs­day.

The Newton Med­i­cal Center is used to han­dling emer­gen­cies, and will take on another one this week.

The hos­pi­tal will hold an emer­gency drill at 9 a.m. Thurs­day to pre­pare em­ploy­ees for any hos­tile sit­u­a­tions.

The “rou­tine” drill will in­clude the Cov­ing­ton Po­lice Depart­ment, SWAT team mem­bers, EMS per­son­nel, and vol­un­teers from NMC Vol­un­teer Ser­vices and the Newton Col­lege and Ca­reer Academy. No pa­tients will be in­volved, and the drill will not af­fect daily hos­pi­tal op­er­a­tions.

“The most ef­fec­tive way for hos­pi­tal staff to learn how to re­spond to an in­ci­dent like this is to con­duct sim­u­lated ex­er­cises,” said Dick Szeliga, NMC di­rec­tor of engineering. “Newton Med­i­cal Center has re- cently de­vel­oped a pol­icy and pro­ce­dures to deal with as­saultive be­hav­ior, and this plan­ning will al­low us to drill this pol­icy for the first time with our com­mu­nity part­ners.”

Ac­cord­ing to NMC of­fi­cials, the drill will al­low em­ploy­ees and lo­cal safety per­son­nel to prac­tice pro­ce­dures that would be fol­lowed in an emer­gency in which pa­tients, visi­tors and staff were at risk of be­ing con­fronted by a per­son with a weapon or of be­ing in­volved in a vi­o­lent crime/hostage sit­u­a­tion.

“NMC would like to in­form mem­bers of the com­mu­nity not to be alarmed when they see lo­cal po­lice sur­round­ing the hos­pi­tal dur­ing the drill,” Anne Gantt, act­ing mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor, said. “There should not be any con­cern for the safety of pa­tients, hos­pi­tal staff or visi­tors.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about the drill, call the Newton Med­i­cal Center at 770-786-7053.

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