Grand Strand Medical Center hires new armed guards

Grand Strand Medical Center hires new armed guards

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Hospitals are in place to treat you in times of emergencies. Now, a new security firm is in place in case an emergency takes place at the hospital.

For years, Grand Strand Medical Center has had security guards watching the doors. Starting this month, a new vendor is taking over those operations.

The company is called GS4. Adam Rudd, the COO of GSMC explained they are internationally-recognized, with a strong presence in South Carolina.

There are at least six security guards in every building, with at least one on each campus armed with a firearm. When you walk in the doors of the hospital, you may not notice anything is different, besides the guards' uniforms.

Rudd said you will still be expected to check in and get an ID badge before being able to walk through the hospital's hallways.

"You shouldn't be in the hospital walking around, visiting, unless you have a reason to be here," Rudd said. He added that he wants the hospital to be a welcoming place, but also a safe one.

There are also video cameras all over the hospital to keep eyes on the parking lots and inside the building.

In addition to a new security vendor, the hospital is working with the Horry County Police Department to identify vulnerabilities within the security plan before Memorial Day Weekend.

"We learned from last year's response, we're going to have a big response that will help keep our patients safe," said Rudd.

He explained the hospital is staffing up and can call in extra security guards. The local police departments also helps the hospital prepare for calls coming in.

"They're also giving us a heads up on things that may be coming in," said Rudd. He explained there can be fights in the community which end up within the hospital.

Another example he gave was following a car accident where one driver is at fault. The police department can notify the hospital to plan immediately on how to keep those families separated.

"We can make sure they're located in different parts of the emergency room, where the families are and treat them with the respect they deserve," said Rudd.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.