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May 13, 2022

Bomb Threat at the K.H.M.H.

Nurses Week ended with a scare that sent the medical staff at the K.H.M.H., as well as dozens of patients, scrambling for safety. Patients in wheelchairs, some in beds still connected to I.V.s, gathered on the ramp outside the entrance of the hospital because someone called in a bomb threat. In most threats of this nature, a sweep would almost always end up being a prank, but that chance could not be taken and evacuation procedures were quickly activated. News Five’s Duane Moody was on scene as the incident unfolded; luckily, it was all fake, but the fear and anxiety was palpable.

 

Deborah Sutherland

Deborah Sutherland, Employee, Dietary Department, K.H.M.H.

“This is really ridiculous. We got all ah fu we patients out there. Watch all ah fu we patient dehn ina sun hot. We got patients from ICU out here, we have newborn babies out yah with dehn mothers di sit down ina this hot sun hot. This is really ridiculous. This crazy! Whosoever di do dehn stupidness yah dehn need fi stop. Dehn need fi put God ina dehn heart. Dehn see weh dehn got we di go through. We got patients in deh weh can’t get off ah some ah dehn bed.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

It was a frightening situation at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital this morning when, for the first time in its history, the institution received a call of a bomb threat within its wards. Surgeries were interrupted and patients on ventilators had to be carried away to safety.

 

Dr. Andre Sosa

Dr. Andre Sosa, Chair, Board of Governors, K.H.M.H.

“These are not all the patients who have been evacuated. As you can see, there is this group that is from this side of the hospital, but we also have other patients on the other side from the emergency entrance. We have pretty much evacuated everyone except perhaps the COVID group. We had patients in the operating theatre; those have been evacuated as well.”

 

Chandra Cansino

Chandra Cansino, C.E.O. K.H.M.H.

“It’s always a complicated procedure; more complicated for a hospital. We have patients that are ventilated and patients that are very compromised and so yes, it is indeed a challenge, but I think the staff has done an excellent job so far.”

 

There were several things to consider, including the families of these patients who were at home panicking and worried about the well-being of their loved ones. To make matters worse, the air outside was sweltering. Deborah Sutherland had just finished feeding a few patients when she was told that they had to evacuate.

 

Deborah Sutherland

“When I di come back down the corridor and I di push my trolley, one of my coworkers di make sign to me and she di holler go back, go back. But I neva know weh ih di tell me go back for so I still di come lee bit. So by the time I reach closer, she holler bomb threat. And I just put the trolley on the side and I run.”

 

K.H.M.H. Patient

“Lotta thing di happen. A lot of old people deh up there and thing Belizean people noh got nothing fi do. Dehn di play. People life deh up there ina danger. We noh need that. Just blessing we need right now. We noh need nobody to call and give we no bad news.”

 

Dr. Andre Sosa

“Our hospital is an institution that goes at it 24/7 so all those procedures and businesses conducted here have been interrupted. But given that we have to put safety above all of that, it is inevitable that all of that has to be interrupted until we are given the all clear.”

 

Some patients were transferred to the Lions building which is adjacent to the national referral hospital. C.E.O. Chandra Cansino says that the priority was to ensure the safety of everyone.

 

Chandra Cansino

“We’ve been communicating with the patients and informing them. At his time, there is no reason to panic. At this time, they are out here for their safety and we are seeking more shade over at the Lion’s building and we really appreciate their collaboration with us for that. And we are ensuring that the patients, their safety are number one priority for us.  At this time there is no need to panic. All the staff is with all the patients so we have enough coverage to ensure that the patients are well taken care of.”

 

Three hours later, just before eleven a.m., B.D.F. bomb experts gave the all clear.

 

Chandra Cansino

“The B.D.F. experts came in, they did their swipe and the just gave us the all clear about fifteen minutes ago.”

 

Duane Moody

“Just the fact that we had to go through this, totally unnecessary.”

 

Chandra Cansino

“It is extremely disheartening to know that someone would make a call like this because it is unique for the hospital setting since we have to consider patients that are on life support and very ill and vulnerable. So it was surely a challenge, but I must say the staff stepped up to the plate and thank God, it was incident free.”

 

By midday, all patients and staff were transferred back into their respective wards within the hospital. Duane Moody for News Five.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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