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Tackling disaster preparedness: SCR and MPD team up for Code Silver drill

Hospital news | Monday, August 31, 2015

On Wednesday, Aug. 26, St. Claire Regional (SCR) participated in a Code Silver (active shooter) drill in coordination with local law enforcement officers from the Morehead Police Department (MPD). SCR staff members were informed of an impending drill but did not know the time or location the event would occur.

Just after 9 a.m., Nathan Adams, the MPD dispatcher playing the role of the shooter, entered the Human Resources office on the seventh floor and demanded to see Travis Bailey, SCR vice president of administration. Unsatisfied with the response, Adams drew a simulated weapon, made his way to Bailey's office, closed the door and fired three simulated shots by shouting, "bang, bang, bang!" Staff who observed the shooter were then required to follow SCR protocol to first notify others in the hospital of the emergency, and then react to protect themselves.

Following protocol, 911 was alerted of the drill scenario and the MPD Tactical Team arrived on scene to begin efforts to locate the shooter and secure the facility. They were equipped with ballistic gear and unloaded weapons to simulate the event as effectively as possible. The suspect was located and the seventh floor was searched and secured to conclude the drill.

SCR held a similar drill at the end of July, but it only involved staff. David Race, MD, medical director, disaster preparedness, had high hopes for the simulation. "After the first drill, we learned so much," Race said. "We know this drill, which more accurately simulated a real scenario, will help us to further update and streamline our policy."

Gary Clarke, SCR disaster preparedness consultant, said, "So many things have changed since the policy was instituted. We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep staff and patients safe."

Following the drill, a debriefing was held to gather feedback from police and SCR staff. Race and Clarke commended both groups for their efforts. "It was truly a real life scenario for the officers and an excellent opportunity for both of us. I think we learned a lot," Clarke said. "This exercise has allowed us to think about how we shape our policy moving forward, and to make sure we are all on the same page."

MPD Capt. Derrick Blevins said overall, the training was a success. "Very rarely do we get to practice something like this inside a building when there are people inside, so we want to thank you very much for inviting us," he said. "It's training for (SCR) but it's training for us, too, and we take a lot from it."

"At St. Claire Regional, we take preparation for disasters and other scenarios that may impact our patients, staff and visitors very seriously," Mark J. Neff, SCR President/CEO, said. "We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to not only provide quality healthcare, but also provide a safe environment.

"We would like to thank the Morehead Police Department for partnering with us to make this possible," Neff added.