Submitted for publication by San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital:
San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital went on lockdown Thursday morning, February 20, as hospital associates and police searched for an abducted child in the Emergency Department of the hospital.
Thankfully, it was all a well-planned exercise in testing SGMH’s policy on a “Code Pink,” the code name for child abduction. After being “abducted” by Carl Beyma, SGMH’s Project Manager, 5-year-old Jayden was safely returned to his mother, Shannon Menyfield, LVN, from SGMH’s Cardiac Rehab Department.
Both Banning and Beaumont Police Departments joined hospital staff in the drill, which required the entire hospital’s participation. As the police departments and SGMH Security searched the hospital for the missing boy, all hospital exits were secured by two staff members, and no one was allowed to leave until “Code Green” was announced overhead – the code for “all clear.”
“It’s important for the staff to have knowledge of how to respond in an abduction, so that we make sure no time is lost,” said Detective Jennifer Segura, with the Banning Police Department. “The cooperation with hospital staff and law enforcement is very important.”
After the child and “abductor” were found, the exercise concluded with a debriefing with hospital staff and local law enforcement on what was learned from the drill, and how the agencies can improve their responses to a Code Pink.
“What I saw was very positive,” said Sergeant Josh Ellsworth, from the Beaumont Police Department.
As with any emergency scenario, the best way to prepare for a real event is to practice, which is why San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital is diligent about holding drills, which allow hospital staff to work closely with local law enforcement agencies.
After gathering the participants’ and observers’ input, Jan Merrick, SGMH’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, thanked everyone for their participation, and noted that “we couldn’t do this without the police departments’ cooperation and support.”