Unannounced drill gauges readiness at hospital

10:00 am | September 19, 2013
Photo by Brandon Hicks

Photo by Brandon Hicks
The Elizabethton Fire Department was on the scene during the bomb drill on Wednesday afternoon at Sycamore Shoals Hospital.

It turned out to be a drill.

But what a drill.

Mountain States Health Alliance Communications Manager Teresa Hicks confirmed that a bomb threat reported at Sycamore Shoals Hospital through Carter County Emergency Communications at about 1 p.m. Wednesday was a planned drill.

Hicks said the drill was designed to test the readiness of Sycamore Shoals Hospital employees and security in the event of a bomb threat.

The Elizabethton Police Department and Elizabethton Fire Department were on scene, and a partial evacuation of the hospital was conducted.

David Robinson, OSHA compliance officer for MSHA, said the scenario included a threat made via phone call against Sycamore Shoals CEO Dwayne Taylor.

“We have to take threats serious, whether they really are or not,” Robinson said.

Once security responded to the threat, Robinson said, the scenario escalated to include a suspicious package.

“Nobody panicked, and everyone was level-headed in their decision-making,” said Will Losefsky, MSHA corporate director of safety, security and emergency management. “We are very pleased with that. The police department and fire department’s response was timely.”

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