IH tightens security following shooting

More security at the ambulance bay following January's shooting

Interior Health has confirmed select changes at the boundary Hospital emergency room after a shooting last January.

Jane Cusden, the health service administrator for Kootenay Boundary, said last week that the process for accessing thehospital has changed after IH conducted an investigation.

“Obviously this is very serious and we take it very seriously,” Cusden said. “There were no threats to staff and that the incidentwas very isolated. We have really looked at our safety procedures and the emergency room.”

Instead of leaving the ambulance bay doors open during business hours, the door will be buzzer or card access only andmonitored by camera. Patients can access the hospital through the main entrance, and use the ambulance bay (where they willbe buzzed in) after hours.

“We used to have the emergency ambulance bay doors open, until 8 p.m., now they are closed and have buzzer access. Theycan access through the main entrance and after hours use the buzzer,” she said.

These features have always been in place, however were not commonly utilized between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., when the doorswere usually left open.

The changes in security follow a shooting in the emergency room of the hospital earlier this year. On Jan. 19, a man enteredthe ambulance bay, where he took out a gun a shot himself. He was immediately airlifted to hospital in Vancouver.

Cusden said they have every indication the incident was isolated.

“No staff were threatened, but in the world we live in we have to review these things and make sure we have safe access to thehospital,” she said. These security measures are common to hospitals in the area, she added.