In the times we’re all living in with active shooting situations that occur quite frequently, it is best to always prepare for the worst, which is something that NYU Winthrop is cognizant of.
With the hospital’s Stop the Bleed program that was launched in 2017, which educates first responders, law enforcement, school educators and other members of the community on how to help stop the bleeding that could occur following a mass shooting, NYU Winthrop is possibly looking to have armed guards on hand in case the unimaginable were to happen.
Armed guards are already deployed at Stony Brook University Hospital and most of Northwell Health’s Long Island hospitals.
“NYU Winthrop Hospital has been aware for some time that Northwell initiated the practice of armed security guards at several locations,” said senior vice president of marketing, advertising and public relations at NYU Winthrop Hospital, J. Edmund Keating.
According to Keating, it was the increase of violent events at hospitals and other public facilities that made the hospital recognize the need to be proactive.
“As a result, we have been reviewing for many months the possibility of implementing that practice in some form at our hospital,” explained Keating. “We have engaged outside experts to examine our policies and procedures, and we have regularly conducted active shooter drills and refresher courses with our entire staff. In response to employee requests, we have also increased the number of security staff and expanded their placement throughout the hospital. Many of our security personnel, including our director of security, are former law enforcement officers. It is an issue with many complex logistics, and it requires that we balance the health and safety of our staff with the needs and safety of patients and visitors alike. We are, after all, a public facility and, ironically, we have been required by government regulation to maintain a policy of open visitation.”
According to Keating, NYU Winthrop is expected to make a decision about having armed guards on its premises within the coming weeks.