Phoebe officials pleased with response to emergency room brawl -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Phoebe officials pleased with response to emergency room brawl


Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital officials say they continually train their employees on security so they can prevent or deal the kind of emergency they faced Monday.

Monday morning a brawl erupted in the emergency room waiting room, between friends and family of a stabbing victim and hospital staff.

Phoebe officials say they keep tight security in place to be ready for the unexpected. Emotions can run high in hospitals, especially in the emergency room. Phoebe Putney officials say they keep a strong security presence to make sure people keep those emotions under control.

Monday police say family members and friends of 19 year old Willie Lewis assaulted nurses and doctors trying to treat Lewis for his stab wound. 30 year old Quantivous Thomas was charged with simple battery. Hospital officials say it's unusual, but not unheard of.

Phoebe Putney Hospital Marketing and Public Relations Corporate Director Rick Smith said "Emotions do run high, because often these people are there in some very difficult times in their lives. We take the safety of our patients, visitors, and employees very carefully. It's very important for us."

Phoebe security officers and off duty licensed police officers are at the emergency center most of the time. Monday an off duty Dougherty County Police officer, working security for Phoebe, called for back up. Albany Police officers responded and helped restore order.

Smith said "We try to prepare for the unexpected. And you can imagine that is very hard. Our employees and our security officers, they go through lots of different training. Different scenarios. Anything that you can imagine, they try to practice and rehearse just in case these things were to actually happen."

Phoebe has good security cameras in the hospital emergency room, and all of Monday's events were captured on surveillance video. Police used that video to decide to charge Thomas in the assault. 

Phoebe officials say they will review Monday security video to use for training and to see if security adjustments are needed. After recent terror events, many institutions and businesses are checking their security, to be prepared for the unexpected.

Phoebe officials say they were very pleased with the Albany Police response and how their security team and staff handled the incidents.

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