Medina hospital plans Dangerous Person drill for May 18

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 May 2016 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – Orleans Community Health next Wednesday, May 18, will have a “Dangerous Person” drill at Medina Memorial Hospital, preparing staff and law enforcement in case a gunman or somebody else threatens the site.

Hospital officials have been preparing for the drill for several months. It follows an incident on Saturday when a 24-year-old man went to Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport at 5 a.m., demanding drugs. The man said he had guns and a bomb. He was later arrested and charged with first-degree robbery.

Police had the hospital and surrounding neighborhood on lockdown until 10 a.m. Saturday. The suspected guns and bomb were a fake, The Buffalo News reported today.

Wendy Jacobson, CEO and president of Orleans Community Health, said there has been an increase in “drug-seeking behavior” at hospitals, in general.

Medina Memorial and the Urgent Care site in Albion have both bolstered security. Medina Memorial wants staff and law enforcement to be prepared in case a dangerous person is on site.

A dangerous person could be someone seeking prescription narcotics, or perhaps a partner of a staff or patient with a restraining order.

The hospital in the past has been the site for large drills for hazardous materials and mass casualties, but never for a “dangerous person.”

“Unfortunately it is necessary,” Jacobson said about the emergency drill. “We’re well ahead of it.”

Medina residents and hospital visitors should expect a large police presence at the hospital on May 18 from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The hospital’s leadership staff also will be in a four-hour training on May 17 with a certified instructor to prepare and respond to dangerous situations.