Tennessee Hospital Adds Armed Guards, Plans to Boost Security Following Shooting

Tennessee Hospital Adds Armed Guards, Plans to Boost Security Following Shooting

The Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg, Tenn., has added armed guards and plans to further boost security following the shooting of an employee in the emergency department on Wednesday.

The Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg, Tenn., has added internal armed security officers following the shooting of an employee in the hospital’s emergency department on Wednesday. Further security upgrades could be on the way.

"We are literally looking at every entry and exit point and looking at some of our other systems in place," said Carol Y. Koenecke-Grant, RMC Vice President of Strategy and Marketing. "We have it [security] as our top priority. That is our total focus right now: the safety and security of our patients and their families."

The shooting took place at the hospital at about 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday. A suspect entered the hospital and fired multiple shots, striking a hospital employee in the abdomen.

The hospital issued a “Code Silver” to indicate an active shooter scenario and then locked down the facility. Sheriff’s deputies conducted a room-to-room search at the hospital, while RMC security took the suspect into custody within moments. The injured employee is in critical condition.

For the initial 24-hour period after the shooting, the hospital had an armed deputy from the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office on campus, Koenecke-Grant said.

Now, the hospital is looking at options to step up their security, beginning with the hiring of armed security guards.

"We were working with the security company (Allied Universal) before any of this happened about getting armed officers in the emergency department," Koenecke-Grant said. "We have firmed up and signed that contract."

The armed security officers will be stations in the emergency department, among other locations. There will also be armed security at the Bamberg-Barnell County Emergency Department.

According to Koenecke-Grant, Allied Universal is going to conduct a complete security assessment of the entire hospital system, including clinics and other facilities. The company will then give the hospital recommendations on security going forward.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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