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Posted: January 25, 2014 10:00 p.m.

NMC to conduct emergency drill

Matt Smith/

The Newton Medical Center is used to handling emergencies, and will take on another one this week.

The hospital will hold an emergency drill at 9 a.m. Thursday to prepare employees for any hostile situations.

The "routine" drill will include the Covington Police Department, SWAT team members, EMS personnel, and volunteers from NMC Volunteer Services and the Newton College and Career Academy. No patients will be involved, and the drill will not affect daily hospital operations.

"The most effective way for hospital staff to learn how to respond to an incident like this is to conduct simulated exercises," said Dick Szeliga, NMC director of engineering. "Newton Medical Center has recently developed a policy and procedures to deal with assaultive behavior, and this planning will allow us to drill this policy for the first time with our community partners."

According to NMC officials, the drill will allow employees and local safety personnel to practice procedures that would be followed in an emergency in which patients, visitors and staff were at risk of being confronted by a person with a weapon or of being involved in a violent crime/hostage situation.

"NMC would like to inform members of the community not to be alarmed when they see local police surrounding the hospital during the drill," Anne Gantt, acting marketing director, said. "There should not be any concern for the safety of patients, hospital staff or visitors."

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