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News & Events

Safety First

06/29/2015

Public Safety is working to protect Tufts Medical Center with technology, personnel and education

The Department of Public Safety is dedicated to ensuring that patients, visitors and employees feel safe and secure when they walk through the doors of Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children. As a result, Public Safety is working with senior leadership to conduct a top-to-bottom organizational risk assessment and identify new best practices to implement throughout the institution.

“We are exploring new strategies to better secure the Medical Center, educate departments, divisions and units and be more visible on campus,” said Public Safety Operations Manager Rob Devlin. “This process will help us develop new initiatives to address areas in which improvements can be made.”

New and Future Improvements

Public Safety already has hired 10 sworn police officers to its full-time staff; these officers are graduates of a police academy, certified by the Massachusetts State Police and have a minimum of an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice. The department also is in the midst of upgrading the Medical Center’s cameras and electronic security infrastructure to enhance surveillance capabilities. Some potential future changes being explored include installing additional cameras, adding new ID card readers, expanding panic alarm availability
and establishing a constant Public Safety presence at key entry points.

“We want to have eyes on who is coming in and going out,” said Director of Public Safety Mike Crisp. “We have permanently stationed officers at several high-traffic areas, including an officer 24/7 at the entrance of the ED—the only entrance open at night. The ED officer will control access to the two main restrooms
in the Atrium/ED area. We also are looking into locking some entrances at an earlier time and stationing full-time officers in the Atrium and in Biewend.”

Preparation Through Education

In collaboration with the Department of Emergency Management, Public Safety has launched several training programs to educate employees on recommended responses to adverse situations. Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB) classes and Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) courses are open to everyone in the Medical Center community. MOAB provides instruction on how to recognize violent behavior and
defend oneself in the event of an altercation, while CPI teaches participants de-escalation methods and how to recognize verbal cues.

While the Boston Police Department has confirmed that Tufts MC’s active shooter protocol (Code Silver) is in line with best practices, Public Safety and Emergency Management want to ensure everyone is educated and can follow the important protocol if ever needed. As a result, Public Safety and Emergency Management staff are conducting unit-based Code Silver “road shows” to provide employees with a 15-minute in-person training session on active shooter readiness. Due to its importance, the training has been added to the online performance management system and is now mandatory for all employees. The Code Silver policy,
PowerPoint presentation and training video all can be found on the intranet.

“Our goal is to increase education throughout the organization and encourage people to think about how they would respond in certain scenarios,” said Crisp. “We want our staff to consider their options beforehand, not when an event is happening. If a Code Silver situation were to occur, employees should already know the location of their nearest exits, places to hide, where to find barricades and what can be used as weapons if they are forced to fight.”

“We encourage all employees to call Public Safety at ext. 6-5100 with any questions or problems, no matter how big or small, but especially if someone is agitated,” said Devlin. “Early recognition of aggressive
behavior is important—don’t wait and hope for things to get better.”