WAUCHULA, Fla. — Patients and staff were evacuated after a bomb threat Friday at a hospital in Hardee County.

It happened at AdventHealth Wauchula.

A hospital spokesperson said the bomb threat was made around 2 p.m., and medical staff immediately began following emergency protocols.

"We evacuated 25 patients and their family members to a nearby building and moved several patients in our emergency room to other medical facilities," Communications Director Richelle Hoenes-Ahearn wrote in an email. "We routinely perform emergency drills and today put practice into action to keep our patients safe. They are always our first priority.”

The building was swept by first responders and deemed it safe.

Investigators say two separate threats were made -- and only one was toward the hospital. The second threat was made against a radio station south of Zolfo. 

The Wauchula County Police Department and the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office are spearheading the two investigations.

First responders from Hardee, Highlands, Polk, Desoto, Manatee, Florida Wildlife Commission, and Florida Highway Patrol were all dispatched after the threats.

Highway 17 northbound lanes in Wauchula were temporarily reduced to one lane. Drivers were asked to avoid the area.

Investigators want anyone with information to call the Hardee County Sheriff’s Office at (863) 773-4144 or Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.

This is a developing story. Stay with 10News for updates.

What other people are reading right now:


Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Stay In the Know! Sign up now for the Brightside Blend Newsletter