« Business Continuity, Workplace Violence Prevention

Boston-area inmate caused chaos at local hospital

An inmate allegedly tried to escape from two officers during a scheduled doctor's appointment last week.
An inmate allegedly tried to escape from two officers during a scheduled doctor's appointment last week.

Sudden events can occur at any moment, especially for law enforcement personnel. Proper training and up-to-date business continuity plans can streamline an office's preparedness. Organizations that establish company-wide emergency planning can protect staff members during urgent times.

Last week, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary was under a code gray after a Middlesex County inmate allegedly tried to escape by stealing a deputy sheriff's gun from his holster, according to WBZ-TV, a local CBS affiliate.

Dr. Priya Janardhana, an employee at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, told local NBC affiliate WHDH that code gray means "[T]here's some disruption. Somebody is attacking somebody," and that people should be alert in those situations.

Importance of tabletop exercises

Similarly, last week, a San Antonio, Texas hospital was briefly in lockdown mode after a man verbally threatened people in the Methodist Hospital children's emergency room. Staff members were able to contain the person within five minutes, according to WOAI-TV, a local NBC affiliate

Then, there was an incident two weeks ago, where an unknown chemical leak caused an evacuation in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Only two individuals who worked inside the two-story building had to to be taken to another hospital to be treated for inhaling the fumes, according to a local CBS affiliate. Contractors are unclear what was the source of the smell but closed the building for business for the next two days. The workers are expected to make a full recovery. 

Without the knowledge of how to handle these situations, the end result could have been much worse. Departments that wish to develop tabletop exercises as part of their business continuity plan can reach out to business continuity consultants.