Suicidal Man Triggers an Evacuation in Denton, Texas.

The emergency department at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital was evacuated after an armed man threatened to shoot himself in the hospital’s parking lot, as reported in a newspaper article. The man had sent suicidal messages to his ex-wife. She contacted police, who in turn began tracking the man’s cell phone. He was found in his vehicle, which was parked in front of the hospital’s ED. Police cleared the ED while they negotiated with him for about 45 minutes. The man told police he chose the hospital because he wanted to donate his organs after he killed himself.

Although hospitals are usually considered a safe haven the reality is they are subject to a number of risk.  Because of regulatory requirement, inspections, and their significant infrastructure we assume we are safe and protected during our most vulnerable time, when we are sick or injured.  That is why hospitals go beyond normal regulatory compliance and perform risk, security assessments as well.  Workplace violence takes many forms, particularly in healthcare environments.  Knowing your risk and having a plan to mitigate these risk are essential to the safety and security of patients, family members and staff alike.