Investigation continues from Aug. 2 security incident

by Nebraska Medicine | August 08, 2019

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As previously communicated to staff, UNMC Public Safety was notified of a threat on Friday, Aug. 2, of an armed individual who was possibly on their way to the UNMC/Nebraska Medical Center campus. Those on the UNMC/Nebraska Medical Center and Bellevue Medical Center campuses were advised to stay in their location while the threat was investigated.

Omaha Police Department and UNMC Public Safety worked together to secure entrances of the Nebraska Medical Center campus. The original threat was never substantiated and the advisory to shelter in place was lifted for both medical center campuses.

Read the Department of Emergency Preparedness Armed Intruder Review.

It is believed that the threat was a hoax, which was possibly linked to an individual who had previously received care at Nebraska Medicine. No arrests have been made but a criminal investigation is in progress.

It is Nebraska Medicine and UNMC's practice to take any compromise of patient, student, visitor and employee safety seriously. This is why action was taken quickly while the threat was investigated. Senior leaders from Nebraska Medicine and UNMC quickly convened on a conference call to share the latest updates and create a plan of action as events were investigated.

The security alert was communicated through the following outlets: scrolling alert on network computers, via public address system at Nebraska Medical Center, through the UNMC Alert (Omnilert) system which sends texts and emails to UNMC and Nebraska Medicine colleagues who opt in for the services, and publicly on Facebook and Twitter social media channels.

Since Friday, there have been multiple conversations about what went well during the incident and where there are opportunities for improvement should a similar situation occur again.

In case of an emergent situation, the UNMC Alert system is designed to send a text message and email to colleagues who sign up for the service. Some colleagues reported they did not receive this message. If you did not receive this notification and would like to be added to the list, you must actively sign up for this service. An article was previously included in NOW and UNMC Today with directions for signing up.

This is a list of additional places you can look for communication in the event of a future incident:

  • UNMC Alert system, including a scrolling message on network computers and a text message/email for those who opt in.
  • Your work email.
  • Overhead audio page .
  • Your manager or shift supervisor may also receive communication from organizational leadership.
  • Social media: Facebook (facebook.com/unmc.edu, facebook.com/nebraskamed), Twitter (@unmc, @nebraskamed).

Remember that if you are at work and there is a threat or confirmed armed intruder, you should follow the instructions from the organization's Emergency Procedures Flipchart or annual education modules. This includes staff sheltering in secured areas, locking doors, turning off lights and silencing cell phones and pagers. Staff should move patients out of dangerous areas and barricade themselves in rooms if possible. If you need a refresher, watch this video, which was part of the most recent annual education.

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