MASSENA New security measures are on the way for Massena Memorial Hospital.
The hospitals board of managers voted 11-1 Monday night, with Paul Morrow dissenting, to approve additional security equipment for the hospital.
Facilities Director Mark P. Brouillette said the $19,535 will pay for new surveillance cameras and related software, lock down buttons and pendants staff can push to directly contact the Massena Police Department.
Security came to the forefront following incidents at the hospital last month.
On Nov. 19, a 48-year-old man fatally shot himself just outside the emergency room. In a separate incident that night, village police arrested a person who shattered a window while exiting the facility.
The incidents rattled staff members nerves and sent management and board members searching for steps to improve security at the 50-bed facility.
Hospital officials had said the shooting was the first incident involving a firearm on campus in the hospitals 60-year history.
Management and board members reviewed security options extensively before making a decision Monday night, hospital spokeswoman Tina R. Corcoran said.
Weve had multiple people give us input, from staff in the emergency department, and staff from throughout the hospital, on different mechanisms we can put in place, she said. Its for the safety of our staff and our patients.
There are additional measures on top of those decided Monday night still being considered, according to Charles F. Fahd II, chief executive officer.
Security measures were a point of disagreement during contract negotiations which recently broke down between the hospital and its 90 registered nurses.
The New York State Nurses Association was looking for the hospital to hire security guards.
On Monday night, Mr. Fahd stood by his comments from a month ago, when he said hiring security staff was being considered but was not currently on the table.
Mr. Morrow said he dissented out of concern for additional expenses he saw coming down the road.
Im certainly not against some of the money were spending for additional security, Mr. Morrow said. But I dont want to be crying wolf because of one instance in 60 years.