Bassett adds dog to security team

May 3—Bassett Healthcare Network announced Wednesday the latest expansion of its K-9 security team.

Remi, a 15-month-old Rottweiler and his handler, Officer Lynda May, have joined Hudson and handler, Officer Robert Meiser, and Coal and handler, Officer Ryan Salisbury in the organization's growing K-9 force, according to a Bssett media release.

Bassett's K-9 security team "rotates across the network's hospitals and clinic campuses to help meet the increased security needs that healthcare workers face today," the release said. Bassett "has seen a significant uptick in instances of physical and verbal assault towards healthcare workers in recent years. K-9 units are often able to quickly defuse tense situations before they escalate," according to the release.

Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, president and CEO of Bassett Healthcare Network, said, "All of us at Bassett extend a warm welcome to Remi and Officer May as they join our K-9 team, an essential facet of our security force."

According to the release, May trained with Hudson, Coal, and their handlers before Remi came to Bassett. Since his arrival, Remi and May have worked with the other K-9 units.

Remi lives with May and her family, which includes four other dogs and a cat, the release said.

Like Hudson and Coal, Remi will have his own baseball-style trading card available for young patients and visitors who wish to collect them.

"We are excited to have Remi and Officer May join our K-9 team," says Harold Southworth, director of Public Safety and Transportation at Bassett, who has led the development of the organization's K-9 program. "Our highly trained K-9s and handlers can turn escalating situations around. They add a new level of expertise to our Security team."

In addition to its K-9 units, Bassett's Security Department consists of more than 60 security officers who staff five hospitals and over two dozen regional health centers, acting as a safety resource for staff, patients, and visitors. They respond to emergencies and are the organization's liaison with area law enforcement.