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Strategies for Adding Safety and Security


Safety and security measures and monitoring activities play a vital role during emergency response and recovery phases.

1. The hospital establishes internal security and safety operations:

Safety and security measures and monitoring activities when HICS is initiated play a vital role during emergency response and recovery phases. Designated Safety and Security Officers monitor activities during emergency exercises and when emergency measures are initiated.

2 & 3. The hospital identifies the roles of community security agencies (Long Beach Police, LA County Sheriff, National Guard, etc.) will have in the event of an emergency:

Community law enforcement agencies may initiate incident command after response to hospital related emergency incidents. Command of security inside the hospital's buildings will be under the hospital’s Incident Commander unless law enforcement intervention is required inside hospital buildings.  If this occurs, law enforcement in conjunction with the hospital Incident Commander and the Director of Security will assume Unified Command.

Depending on the nature, scope, and duration of the incident, it may become necessary to supplement internal security efforts with assistance from external law enforcement agencies. The decision to request assistance from such agencies shall be made by the hospital IC based on recommendations from the Security Branch Director and/or the Operations Section Chief.

If external law enforcement agencies are utilized, the Security Branch Manager will meet with the lead officer of the agency and agreement will be reached on such issues as:

Incident Command

Integration of law enforcement into organization operations

Decision Making

Rules of engagement for crowd control

Chain of Custody

Interaction with outside law enforcement agencies may also involve specific tasks such as:

Facility lockdown

Facility evacuation

Traffic control

The Safety Officer will work with the IC, set up parameters for security measures with focus HCWs and patient safety and facility security. Security Officers are on premises 24-7. If an additional security presence is required outside agencies such as Long Beach Police Department, Bomb Squad, SWAT teams -will be called into St. Mary Medical Center.

4. How the hospital will manage hazardous materials and waste:

It is recognized that once emergency measures are implemented, contracted hazardous waste haulers may not be able to get to the hospital to haul hazardous materials and medical waste for days after an incident. St. Mary Medical Center will set up a temporary secured storage area during emergencies. Once emergency conditions have been lifted and vendors are able to get to the hospital and remove materials from the overflow areas, the temporary storage areas will be dismantled and cleaned appropriately.

5. The plan identifies means for radioactive, biological, and chemical isolation and decontamination:

Hazmat incidents including Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) incidents are managed based on the Operations Section Hazmat / Decontamination procedures in collaboration with the city and/or county Emergency Services & Long Beach Fire Hazmat team.

Pursuant to exposure conditions, St. Mary Medical Center may establish a chemical hazmat decontamination triage setting at the Decontamination Trailer behind the Health Enhancement Center. Staff are trained and educated on use of the Decontamination Trailer and C suit and  Purified Air Powered Respirators at annual drills.

The hospital has designated a location for radioactive or chemical isolation, to include radioactive, chemical and biological decontamination capability.  Healthcare workers are trained in the response to hazardous material contamination.

Facilities for decontamination are maintained and coordinated through the Disaster Resource Center, Facilities Department, Security, Safety, and Emergency Management Committee. The effectiveness of these equipment and materials are tested during quarterly decontamination trainings and annual decontamination drill.

6. How the hospital will control entrance into and out of the healthcare facility during an emergency:

At the time the EOP is activated, on duty Security Officers will be responsible for locking all exits and entrances with the exception of the Emergency Department entrances. Hospital healthcare workers are required to wear ID badges at all times.

7. The hospital establishes processes for controlling the movement of individuals within the healthcare facility during emergencies:

During emergency conditions, when it becomes necessary to control the movement of visitors and HCW horizontally and vertically in order to facilitate a safe and controlled environment during emergencies. Movement within the hospital will be controlled by security through security checkpoints, control of elevators, and control of doors. HCWs that do not perform essential functions may be redirected.

8. Hospital arrangements for controlling vehicles that access the healthcare facility during an emergency:

Signs will be posted throughout the hospital showing shelter locations, including instructions for taking shelter. Signs will also be posted on the hospital campus directing overflow emergency vehicles in terms of locations for decontamination facilities and parking for emergency vehicles.

9. The hospital implements the components of its EOP that require advanced preparation to support security and safety during an emergency:

The St. Mary Medical Center Disaster Resource Center drills and trains with local police and law enforcement agencies. Hazard assessments and threat analysis is done on campus of St. Mary Medical Center by the Long Beach Police Department and Homeland Security.