1/21/18

Active-shooter drill tests hospital, staff capabilities

At 9 a.m. a call came:

“There is a person on the sixth floor of Carle Tower shooting people.”

And the Code Silver Armed Intruder drill was underway. Minutes later, the fictitious shooter took his own life and 16 mock victims needed immediate care.

Months of planning and training can make all the difference in a real-life scenario. Today’s active-shooter drill tested security, emergency, nursing, operating room and other teams. Drill organizers informed community partners ahead of time to avoid impact on normal emergency operations.

“We all hope nothing like this ever happens in our facilities or our communities. Still, preparing for something as serious and unpredictable as an active shooter scenario allows us to test and refine our response to the fullest,” said Brad Weir, MD, Carle EMS associate medical director.

Putting Run-Hide-Fight into action also identifies opportunities for improvement.

“Certainly, you can’t plan for everything, so drills help us make sure the team has the tools and resources to think on their feet and respond to rapidly changing circumstances,” said Anita Guffey, director of Emergency Management.

Safety is top priority.

“Our people are trained to help others so their instinct may be to help others who are injured, but they are of no use to the injured if they become victims themselves,” said Chuck Plotner, director of Security.

Run-Hide-Fight is the preferred emergency response to an armed intruder.

“The best practice is to leave the scene, hide when necessary and fight if given the chance,” Guffey said.

Carle routinely drills for emergency scenarios.

“Our staff copes with life-and-death situations every day. So it’s no surprise to me that during the drill everyone drew on their training, responded quickly and calmly, and provided support for one another at every turn,” Dr. Weir said.