To better prepare its employees for such an emergency, Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center held the first of a series of active shooter drills this past Tuesday, Aug. 23.
The drill began around 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday; however, employees were aware of the date well in advance to allow time to review the hospital’s plans and protocols for responding to such a situation, according to Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center (TLRMC) Director of Planning and Marketing Bill Oldham.
The “shooter” was portrayed by TLRMC employee Bradley Decker, who did not have anything on his person to represent a gun, Oldham said.
This, coupled with the hospital’s announcement over its PA system that the drill would be taking place, was to ensure that patients and visitors were not frightened or put into a panic during the drill, according to Oldham.
“We made a very conscientious effort to let people know it is a drill,” said Oldham.
When the drill began, hospital officials announced over the PA system the location of the “shooter” as well as his appearance and direction of travel to ensure that employees took immediate precautions to protect themselves and patients.
Officials also called Grayson County E-911 dispatch to have emergency personnel respond.
Oldham said law enforcement was made aware of the drill in advance as well, and a portion of the drill had hospital employees track the shooter’s location and inform police of it so the “shooter” could be quickly apprehended.
Hospital officials wished to express their gratitude to local law enforcement who participated in the drill, including the Leitchfield Police Department, Kentucky State Police, and Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins, the latter of whom advised the hospital of additional ways it can better help the police respond in emergency situations.
“They took it seriously,” said Oldham of the responding law enforcement personnel.
In addition to holding annual active shooter drills, TLRMC also has its employees watch a more realistic active shooter drill on video and educate themselves on the hospital’s plans for such an event.
Oldham said that, while the majority of the hospital’s employees work first shift, TLRMC does remain open 24 hours a day, so it is important that employees of every shift have the opportunity to take part in active shooter drills, so one was to be held for each work shift.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.