- Associated Press - Friday, June 6, 2014

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - The new hospital in Pendleton went on Amber Alert this week, but somebody forgot to tell police it was a just a drill.

Chief Stuart Roberts said that when the call came from St. Anthony Hospital on Tuesday that a baby had been snatched, four officers hit their lights and sirens and went tearing off.

As they neared the hospital, officers got word it wasn’t the real thing.

Roberts said such “code” responses carry risks to public safety and liability questions.

“I was just so dumbfounded,” he said.

St. Anthony moved into the $70 million facility in December. Administrators decided the staff had gotten familiar with the building, so it was time for a variety of emergency exercises, said spokesman Larry Blanc.

In the drill Tuesday, procedure called for the hospital operations staff to be notified and someone there to call a special number to let the local emergency dispatch center know about a drill, he said.

“Honestly I’m not sure who called during the drill,” Blanc said. “But they did not state: ‘This is a drill.’”

Blanc said the hospital heard police concerns loud and clear, and the staff is taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

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Information from: East Oregonian, https://www.eastoregonian.info

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