World events have made it clear that no place is completely safe and that the war extends beyond the boundaries of Iraq and Afghanistan. Landstuhl Regional Medical Center has taken steps Monday to help ensure it does not become a target.
Dogs at the gate, more security guards, ID card checks at each door and a reduction of accessible entry points will safeguard the facility and its patrons.
“This is not related to any specific threat made against LRMC,” said Col.
Murray Francis, LRMC commander. “However, you can’t sit back complacently and think, ‘Well, we’re just a hospital, nobody is going to bother us.’ LRMC is a household name and with press comes publicity that might not always be in your favor.”
Previously, the hospital had 100 accessible doors for entry or exit. Now, there are only eight entry points, which are positioned close to the parking lots.
A lot of planning went in to making the changes as seamless and hassle-free as possible for patients, said Colonel Francis. Utilization points were surveyed and doors with the heaviest traffic were identified. Location of wards, clinics and community services were taken in to consideration when planning the access points.
“Please understand that projects of this magnitude will have some initial delays,” said Colonel Francis. “To help minimize delays, have your identification with you. The last thing I want is for someone to find parking and get all way to the front door only to be turned away.”
The changes will remain in effect until the Global War on Terrorism has been won, he said.
“I want people to know that our high-level of service will continue and that whatever I implement on the public is what I implement on myself,” he said. “My family lives nearby and they come here to do their day-to-day living.”
The colonel, who took interim command June 17, had planned to keep LRMC functioning on autopilot until this latest issue. He said the security challenge wasn’t easy. A lot of logistical planning and long hours went in to accomplishing it.
“It’s been a challenge, but I think the change will go a long way in keeping the patients and staff at LRMC as safe as possible,” he said.
Also in the works are lights and video cameras, and roaming patrols for the perimeter.