Memorial shares security insight after shooting at Dublin hospital

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Hospital security experts in Savannah spoke with WTOC on Monday about active shooter protocols after a Laurens County Sheriff's deputy was shot at Fairview Park Hospital in Dublin, GA on Sunday night.

Akeem Woodard remains in the Laurens County Jail after investigators say he shot Deputy Matt Surine in the leg. The deputy is expected to make a full recovery.

Memorial Health University Medical Center's chief of security told WTOC Monday they are constantly training for situations like this and while they've never had to respond to something this extreme, they are constantly dealing with potential threats.

"It can happen anywhere you go," said Robert Lauze, Memorial Health's chief of security.

Lauze says all of their security personnel at the hospital receive continuous active shooter training. It's too soon to say what caused a man to start shooting at Fairview Park Hospital in Dublin, but Lauze says most hospital shootings share a common motive

"It's usually related to a domestic dispute or unsatisfied customer," said Lauze.

He says active shooter training is now streamlined through the federal government which means the protocol and response plans implemented Sunday night at Fairview Park would likely be the same plans Memorial Health would follow. But when it comes to preventive measures, hospitals can decide how they regulate safety.

"What we'll do is, we'll look at our trends, know where to put our assets," said Lauze.

In fact, in May, the hospital made the decision to install a walk-through metal detector at the emergency room entrance based on rising crime rates in the Savannah area.

"We utilize the FBI's CRIMECAST. You're eight times more likely to be a victim of an aggravated assault in Savannah than you are anywhere else in the country," said Lauze.

More than 35,000 people walk through these doors every month and officials wondered how the community would react to new security measures.

"We've received more compliments than complaints."

He says while Memorial Health's campus has always been very safe, people appreciate the extra layer of protection as active shooter situations continue to rise around the country.

Not only do they have security but they also train doctors and nurses on protocol on reacting and monitoring behavior changes among patients and visitors. This situational awareness is one of the best ways of being proactive and preventing a possible incident.

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