It was a day like any other in the halls of Botsford Hospital. But today, there was an unusual visitor, a woman, long brown hair and carrying a camera. Not an everyday camera, but something a bit bigger, more like one that a professional photographer might use. Two security officers quietly observed her as she passed them in the hallway. They didn’t see an employee or visitor badge. What was she doing?
They radioed back to the security central command office and requested a visual on the subject. She was quickly located at her destination, questioned and the employee badge under her long hair was uncovered. You can’t get anything by Michael Geldmacher, head of security at Botsford Hospital. Employee identification badges are required at all times. If someone isn’t wearing a badge, there might be cause for concern.
Ensuring the safety of patients, employees and visitors to a hospital is a never-ending job. As Michael explains, hospitals are like small cities, where anything can happen at any time of day. They are always open and hundreds of thousands of people pass through their doors every year.
Security takes many forms
Michael’s team handles much of what you’d expect from a security team, although it’s usually misplaced belongings that they deal with. But sometimes the team actually becomes closer to patient care than they bargained for. Like when an employee showed signs of physical distress, the security team swooped in and got him to the Emergency and Trauma Center where he became a patient. Most on the security team are trained in CPR and AED use and actively prepare for any situation. They work closely with Farmington Hills police and fire departments to prepare for situations in and outside the hospital, like they did for this active shooter drill last year.
A seasoned security professional, Michael has seen many things but notes there are a few easy things everybody can do to stay safe in most situations.
Here are his top 5 tips for maintaining your own personal security when you’re in any public place:
- Lock your car doors! Even if you’re only running in for a minute. You’d be
surprised how many people don’t take – or simply forget about – this simple precaution as they’re running errands or even as they park their car in their own driveway.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Travel in groups.
- Valet when you can.
- For office workers, lock valuables in a desk or cabinet.
Bonus Tip: Check IDs. This applies when dealing with any business whether it’s a utility worker coming to your home or a nurse visiting your hospital bedside. Always know who you’re talking to and don’t be afraid to ask for identification. In a hospital setting, this is also important as you divulge confidential medical or financial information. Remember this motto: No ID, no info! Botsford Hospital employees are trained to always have their identification visible and as you learned earlier in this article, Michael and his team make sure they comply for the safety of everyone.
So remember these tips no matter where you are and rest assured, the next time you visit Botsford or any other hospital, there’s a professional security team prepared for virtually any scenario.