Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Foundations partner to provide additional safety and security

The CoxHealth Foundation and Skaggs Foundation have come together to provide additional safety and security equipment for CoxHealth public safety officers and guards. The CoxHealth Foundation purchased $29,000 worth of ballistic vests for public safety employees in Springfield and Monett. The Skaggs Foundation made a $16,000 investment in the Branson public safety employees, purchasing ballistic vests and Tasers for Branson officers.

“Having these tools to help mitigate any threat that our officers may face will allow them to focus on their tasks and know that they are prepared for any situation that may arise,” said Eric Clay, director of CoxHealth Public Safety.

The new vests are much lighter and higher quality than public safety employees had in the past. Additionally, the vests were custom fit to each individual officer so they fit properly and provide the best protection.

The additional equipment also means all public safety and security officers in Springfield and Branson now have Tasers.

“It is important for us to find a weapon system the guards could use to protect themselves and others,” said Clay. “We think the Taser is that system.”

Tim Nichols, president of the Skaggs Foundation, said the decision to purchase the equipment was an easy one.

“We hope that our officers never need to use this equipment, but if they do, we want to know that we provided the best for them,” Nichols said.

CoxHealth Foundation President Lisa Alexander said this was not the first time the CoxHealth Foundation had invested in the public safety department.

“Our first purchase was three years ago when they didn’t have any bulletproof vests,” Alexander said.
She said when Clay explained recently that the vests break down after a period of years and the material is no longer as safe, the board absolutely agreed to purchase the new vests for officers.

“Our board understands that our security department is the first line of defense for our patients, their families and our staff,” Alexander said. “What could be more important than protecting them?”