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Palmerston North Hospital guards Arthur Simon, Wayne Casey and Te Arawa Ratana were recently commended for their selfless dedication and bravery following a Police alert that one armed gunman, possibly two, were en route to the Palmerston North Hospital, intent on killing and injuring as many people as possible. Without hesitation these three security officers responded to the call to prepare for gunmen’s arrival. Armed police officers were on site seconds later, underlining the threat’s serious nature.
After police arrested a man, Wayne stayed to protect the hospital’s emergency department while Arthur and Te Arawa patrolled the entire grounds and wards, warning staff to stay inside. Armed Police maintained a cordon around the hospital campus until Arthur and Te Arawa confirmed no further suspicious activity on site.
A hospital manager later wrote: “Never before have I worked with civilians who have acted so readily and selflessly to protect others and I would like acknowledge them for their courage.
“Fortunately, further investigation by Police indicated the male was not armed and was acting alone, but that does not belittle the actions of Arthur, Te Arawa and Wayne, who were not aware of these facts at the time they acted above and beyond the normal duties expected of a Security Officer.”