Internal memo outlines instructions for some HSC security guards

An internal memo obtained by Global News shows the WRHA is trying to beef up security at Health Sciences Centre, but there’s still confusion over what security staff in the emergency room are allowed to do.Global News spoke to a former HSC security guard Kevin Donald earlier this month who was on the job at HSC for nearly three decades. He said there’s been a shocking rise in meth-fueled violence and confrontations in the ER and HSC in recent years, calling the emergency ward “a war zone.”Story continues below

The Manitoba Government Employees Union, which represents security guards, said guards at HSC don’t have any special arresting powers while Manitoba’s Health Minister Cameron Friesen insisted guards can get involved to quell violent patients.READ MORE: ‘HSC is a war zone’: Ex-hospital security guard speaks out about conflicting rules“All security officers in these facilities have the ability and are licensed to intervene and make that intervention,” Friesen said.A internal memo sent on Monday by HSC Director of Security Services Norman Schatz doesn’t appear to help clear up the confusion. It highlights the fact that the hospital was bringing in an extra Garda guard to the entrance of the emergency room.It gives seemingly conflicting messaging for what that guard is allowed to do.“[The guard ] is not be expected to physically intervene in incidents of aggression other in self-defense, however, should an egregious event occur, a moral duty to assist would be the expectation,” it says.READ MORE: Nurse punched in the face by man believed high on meth, says Manitoba Nurses UnionMGEU said the government continues “to miss the point.”“The issue is these security officers need an elevated legal authority in order to do their jobs and uphold safety. Whether that’s through peace officer status, special constable status or something entirely new – they need to figure that out and they need to act now. This issue needs serious attention – and we certainly aren’t getting that,” said Jodee Mason, the union’s executive liaison.“This is going to be disruptive to the workforce and these new guards will be unfamiliar and, unlike HSC officers, will not recognize repeat violent visitors or patients when they walk through the door.“As well, they won’t be carrying a radio nor will they get the same level of training that HSC officers currently receive.”Global News has reached out to the WRHA for comment.Get daily local headlines and alerts