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Off-duty cop pretended to be terrorist gunman in hospital’s unannounced ‘safety’ drill

By Stephen C. Webster
Sunday, May 30, 2010 19:48 EDT
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At the St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson, Nevada this past Monday, a very unusual and terrifying scene took place that left nearly all its participants in shock — both out of fear and genuine bewilderment as to how safety planners could be so stupid.

That’s because last Monday, an off-duty police officer stormed into the hospital’s Sienna campus, where the most sick patients are cared for, and pointed a gun at staff. He then ordered as many as 10 nurses down a hallway and into a room, according to a local report.

It all turned out to be a “safety” drill gone horribly wrong.

“Just last year, Henderson police shot and killed an armed, hostile man in the emergency room,” The Las Vegas Sun noted. “So it would make sense that security and emergency preparedness have been a focus at the hospital.

“But in Monday’s incident, which occurred in a unit that houses the hospital’s sickest patients, nurses, patients and their families did not know it was a drill, said Renee Ruiz, organizer of the California Nurses Association, which represents staff at the hospital.”

It was only after nurses were herded into the room that the officer explained the motivation for his dramatic rouse.

Andy North, the hospital’s director of public policy, told the paper they’d engaged in an effort to make drills “as realistic as possible.” He claimed staff should have been told ahead of time.

The officer’s name was not released.

The hospital’s media release page does not address anything related to the drill and the incident was largely ignored by other area media.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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