Bomb threat protocols

JONESBORO (KAIT) A bomb threat whether implied or with some kind of physical evidence such as the backpack of Monday night is dealt with by police as if a burning fuse is sputtering on a stick of dynamite.

For the police, getting people away from possible harm is one of the first steps.

JPD Chief Michael Yates, "We make decisions on evacuation based on the threat level that we can determine at the time."

We have all seen the schools being evacuated and searched when someone calls in a threat and the kids get a long lunch hours.

But when a suspected device is found--the action moves out of the organization's hands and into the authorities.

Yates. "The supervisor on scene can order the evacuation and assist whatever type business it is in their evacuations."

The threat of an explosion shut down NEA Baptist Memorial hospitals emergency room for about 7 hours.

Since Jonesboro only has 2 emergency rooms. What happens when one has to shut down and the other has to take the load for the entire community?

Are the police responsible for notifying the other hospital of the status of the closed E. R.?

Yates, "We deal with the incident itself one at a time unless there is something that makes us believe it may be more wide spread. I'm sure they have a better mechanism for sharing information than we do."

Kathryn Blackman the Emergency supervisor at St. Bernard's Medical Center showed the an online status system for all hospitals in Arkansas.

"If there were something that would prevent an emergency department anywhere from being functional. They would probably update their status on the states EM system."

The Internet roster lists each hospital in Arkansas with service availability. This includes bed availability, ER Status, ICU Beds etc.

For nearly 7 hours on Monday, the E. R. At St. Bernard's was the only show in town which for them was no big deal.

Blackman, "Are resources are pretty much set that 1 ER in the area at capacity or not being operated probably does not impact us that much."

Hospital administrators in Northeast Arkansas meet regularly. Using the relationships between facilities means a time of crisis for one location can be helped by others

As of Tuesday, suspect Cyril Auston is being psychologically evaluated.

Auston is currently on parole for forgery and now has an outstanding warrant for falsely communicating a terroristic threat.