By KIM LEATHERMAN
SEBRING — Hardee County officials confired two bomb threats Friday afternoon amidst rumors of several bomb threats throughout the area. The two threats confirmed were against AdventHealth Wauchula at 735 S. 5th Ave. and radio station WZZS 106.9 at 7891 U.S. 17 S. in Zolfo Springs.
Highlands County Fire Rescue assisted in the emergency.
The hospital received a bomb threat at 2:13 p.m., according to Hardee County Sheriff’’s Office Public Information Officer Makayla Chancey. The radio station received its threat at approximately 3:12 p.m.
Highlands County Fire Rescue Chief Marc Bashoor confirmed on Friday afternoon that one Highlands County ambulance was sent to assist in the evacuation. His crew transferred one patient to AdventHealth Lake Placid.
All patients were evacuated from the Hardee County facility, according to officials.
““Today, we received a bomb threat shortly after 2 p.m. and immediately began protocols to ensure the safety of our patients, their families and our team members,” AdventHealth Director of Corporate Communications Richelle Hoenes-Ahearn said.
“We evacuated 25 patients and their family members to a nearby building, and moved several patients in our emergency room to other medical facilities. We routinely perform emergency drills and today put practice into action to keep our patients safe. They are always our first priority.”
Hoenes-Ahearn said the hospital was fully evacuated by 4 p.m.
By 4:45 p.m. Chancey told the Highlands News-Sun the radio station had been cleared. By 5:45 p.m. the hospital had also been cleared.
Chancey said it is unclear at if the two bomb threats were related. She did not know if both bomb threats came from the same phone number.
Chancey confirmed the Manatee Bomb Squad was called in on the cases.