Hospital Policy Guides Reactions When Hostages are Taken

This is the "Code Command — Hostage Situation" policy at St. Edward Mercy Medical Center in Fort Smith, AR:

Policy

A command team will respond to a hostage-taking situation and take direction from the Fort Smith Police Department as it determines what is in the best interest of the health, safety, and welfare of its employees, patients, and medical staff.

Purpose

A procedure will be in place to efficiently and effectively respond to a hostage-taking situation in the medical center.

Procedure

1. Any employee who becomes aware of a hostage situation shall immediately notify the operator.

2. The operator shall:

A. Notify security.

B. Call a "Code Command" over the public address system.

C. Call the Fort Smith Police Department.

D. Notify the Command Team.

E. Notify Facility Services to meet the Fort Smith Police Department at the emergency room.

3. Security will go immediately to the site of the hostage-taking and secure the area until the arrival of the Fort Smith Police Department.

4. The Command Team shall immediately report to the executive board room. If the executive board room is not available, the team shall meet in the Ford Room.

5. The Command Team shall consist of:

A. The Administrator on site or on call. If the Administrator on site is someone other than the Chief Executive Officer, then the Chief Executive Officer or designee shall be contacted as soon as possible by the Administrator on site.

B. Risk Manager or designee.

C. Director of Nursing, or designee; or on the 3-11 or 11-7 shift, the Nursing Supervisor.

D. Public Relations designee.

E. Pastoral Care designee.

F. Engineering designee.

G. Telecommunications designee.

H. Director of Security.

6. All media will be controlled by Public Relations and shall be directed to the basement conference room in the Hembree Cancer Center. Media vehicles shall be parked in the lot closest to the Red Lobster restaurant. If the Cancer Center conference room is not available, the media shall be located in conference rooms 1 and 2.

7. Family members of hostages and their support people shall be directed to the classroom known as "Flocks," while family members of the hostage takers shall be directed to conference room 1. All family and support people of both hostages and hostage takers will be under the direction of Pastoral Care.

8. The medical center Command Team will, for the duration of the hostage situation, confer with and follow the directions of the Fort Smith Police Department’s Hostage Negotiating Team as it determines what is in the best interest of the health, safety, and welfare of its patients, employees, and medical staff.