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Lockdown drill will test hospital's safety, security

April 02, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

For one hour Thursday, Washington County Hospital has scheduled a lockdown drill to evaluate safety and security procedures.

From 1 to 2 p.m., all hospital staff will run through the drill procedures, said Barry Nickelsberg, executive director of development, community relations and marketing.

"Patients won't realize any difference. New patients will be admitted as usual, either coming in on their own or by ambulance," Nickelsberg said.

All hospital entrances will be staffed by security or hospital personnel.

During the lockdown drill, hospital visitors will be asked to leave the hospital. But Nickelsberg said the staff will ask, not insist.

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The purpose of a lockdown is to maintain a safe and secure environment for patients and staff. Lockdown procedures may occur during a weapons of mass destruction threat or at a time when limiting access to the hospital is necessary to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

Those patients and visitors who wish to enter the hospital between 1 and 2 p.m. Thursday should use the Antietam Street entrance marked Emergency/Trauma, hospital officials said.

Patients will be admitted. Visitors will be asked to return after the drill but none will be prevented from entering, Nickelsberg said.

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