11:57 AM

Staying Safe at Cook Children's: Understanding Security Alerts and Active Criminal Events

While we all want to enjoy the holiday season, a recent security alert at our Fort Worth Medical Center serves as a reminder that vigilance and safety must always be top priorities for our employees, patients, and their families.

Fortunately, the incident earlier this month was short-lived (lasting only 13 minutes) and the alert was cleared once deemed safe. However, it serves as a valuable opportunity to discuss security alerts and how we respond to them.

Types of Alerts and Response Protocol

1. Sense of Urgency: When a potential threat is identified, our security team strives to respond quickly and notify affected individuals. As David Hollar, Director of Security Services explains, "We prioritize safety and swift response, while acknowledging the dynamic and rapidly evolving nature of such situations."

2. Notifications: These alerts serve as a brief awareness update with concise instructions. We request that staff only call if directly involved or witness something impacting the incident's immediate safety. Calling PBX or Security Services for general inquiries hinders their ability to manage the event and maintain open lines for crucial communication.

Differentiating Security Alerts and Active Criminal Events:

Security Alert: Similar to a weather watch, it indicates a developing situation being closely monitored but not posing immediate danger. Remain vigilant, follow the instructions provided within the notification, stay put and continue you with your normal work activities unless otherwise notified. In the recent instance, no lockdown or evacuation was necessary.

Active Criminal Event: Comparable to a storm warning, it signifies an unfolding criminal act with a suspect still present and posing an active threat. Depending on the scenario, you may be instructed to flee, hide, or remain calm and follow further instructions.

Your Safety is Paramount. We prioritize your safety and appreciate your cooperation during such situations. Please remain calm and respect the evolving circumstances. We will strive to provide accurate information as quickly as possible based on confirmed facts.

We are grateful for our staff's vigilance and commitment to reporting any concerns. Together, we can contribute to a safe and secure environment for all at Cook Children's.