UPMC Western Maryland expands Operation Safe Ride
CUMBERLAND, MD, December 13, 2018 – Thanks to recent adjustments made to Operation Safe Ride – UPMC Western Maryland’s program that offers patients, visitors and employees secure transportation back to their vehicles – it is even easier to start the journey home safely.
Due to diminished usage since the program was originally launched in 2015, the adjustment was recently made to post an officer at the rear UPMC Western Maryland Medical Arts Center entrance for two shifts each night. The officer will be stationed with the transport van from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. and again from 10:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. The wait time is never longer than 10 minutes, as the van operates on a constant loop as patrons and employees take advantage of it.
“We’ve revamped the program just a little bit,” said Greg Leake, UPMC Western Maryland Director of Safety and Security. “Having the officer there regularly makes us more visible. Not only does it let people know we are available for a ride, it also goes a long way in deterring anyone that might be up to no good,” he said.
As it has been since the program launched, an employee or visitor can notify security at any time of day and request a safe ride. An officer will be dispatched and will pick them up at whatever entrance or exit they are at and take them to their vehicle.
“Since we made the change and posted the nightly officer we have already given several rides,” Leake said. “This is just an extra layer of security for those who may be uncomfortable walking back to their vehicle.” The number to call for a safe ride outside of the regular posted hours is 240-964-2700.