Bomb threat under investigation at Dickinson County Healthcare System

South Central UP

IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WJMN) – The Iron Mountain Police Department (IMPD) is investigating a bomb threat Monday night at Dickinson County Healthcare System (DCHS).

According to DCHS, someone called into the call center at 8:48 p.m. Central Time, disguised their voice and said they had placed a bomb in the hospital. Hospital administrators followed protocol to enact a, “Code Orange,” locking down the building and alerting law enforcement.

DCHS said police arrived in minutes to begin a search of the entire hospital property. IMPD said it was assisted by the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Department, Michigan State Police, Kingsford Public Safety Department, and the Marquette Police Department who brought a bomb-sniffing dog.

During the lockdown, all patients and staff had to remain in place while authorities completed the five hour search which lasted until 2:00 a.m.

No evidence of a bomb was found during the search.

All patient care areas are reopened. DCHS is reporting no patients has any health care complications as a result of the incident.

In a written statement, DCH Director of Public Relations Joe Rizzo said, “Dickinson County Healthcare takes a threat to the safety and security of our patients and staff very seriously. We are thankful to law enforcement for their fast and thorough response to help us make sure
our patients and staff are safe. We are proud of our staff for their immediate response to the threat and applying their crisis training to protect our patients and each other during this event”.

Iron Mountain Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call 906-774-1234.

DCH has also provided clarification of its, “Code Orange” protocol and a timeline of Monday night’s events.

DCH CODE ORANGE April 19, 2021
• During a CODE ORANGE, DCH shuts down the entire hospital campus;
• During a CODE ORANGE, patients and visitors are informed of the potential threat and remain
sheltered during the whole facility search;
• DCH had nineteen patients and five visitors during last night’s CODE ORANGE;
• Twenty-eight staff members were in the building at that time;
• DCH staff and law-enforcement personnel conducted the initial building sweep.
• A second sweep of the facility was conducted by law enforcement, “Nitro,” a bomb-sniffing
dog, and Trooper John, from the Michigan State Trooper Marquette post;
• The hospital reviews its CODE ORANGE policy and bomb threat protocols annually. DCH
conducted its most recent review last month, March 2021;

Event timeline:
• 8:48 p.m. CST – The DCH switchboard operator received the bomb threat phone call and
immediately notified the Hospital Supervisor;
• 8:50 p.m. CST – The Hospital Supervisor called 911, reported the news to the DCH Safety and
Security Officer;
• 8:53 p.m. CST – The Hospital Supervisor announced a CODE ORANGE over the DCH PA
system. The DCH staff verbally informs patients and visitors of the CODE ORANGE and is
available to answer any questions;
• 8:55 p.m. CST – Local law enforcement (Michigan State Troopers and Iron Mountain Police
Department) and the Fire Department arrived to assess the threat;
• 8:58 p.m. CST – Local law enforcement, in collaboration with crisis trained, DCH staff conduct
an initial sweep of the property;
• 9:00 p.m. CST – Dr. Eric Johnson, Emergency Department Medical Director, assumes control of
incident command. DCH notifies Ambulance services and Oscar G. Johnson Veterans Hospital
that due to the threat, DCH is temporarily diverting all non-life-threatening patients;
• 12:28 a.m. CST – Marquette Police Officer John Waldo and “bomb-sniffing” dog Nitro,
conduct another search of the entire facility, rooftops, and property outside the hospital;
• 1:05 a.m. CST – Local law enforcement deems DCH clear and safe;
• 1:06 a.m. CST – DCH announces a CODE WHITE on the PA system (ALL CLEAR). DCH notifies
Ambulance services and Oscar G. Johnson Veterans Hospital of the CODE WHITE. DCH
resumes regular patient care activity.

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