You are sitting at your desk and you hear gun shots ring out. Now what? Do you call someone? Do you investigate the source of the shots?
The AltaPointe Environment of Care department has programs in place to help prepare staff members for that very scenario. “Although the majority of our facilities are locked and less penetrable then other businesses, we still want our people to be trained and to have a plan,” Robert Carlock, director of environment of care, explained. “In the world we live in, tragedies happen. You may only have a split second to react. Knowing what to do when a situation arises can make the difference in someone’s safety.”
EastPointe Hospital held an active shooter training exercise with assistance from the Gulf Shores Police Department in the spring of 2017. At AltaPointe, each staff member is shown an active shooter video during new hire training. Active shooter discussions also are held at program meetings in July. An active shooter refresher is available for review on the AltaLink EOC page as well. Security technicians and managers are required to participate in additional online course training through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency. The eventual goal is to have trained law enforcement lead discussions and facility assessments for each AltaPointe location. The belief is that discussing scenarios will help people visualize a plan.
“Having a plan is the key,” Catherine Shropshire, EOC compliance specialist, said. Shropshire coordinates much of the onsite training. “Being able to react quickly and effectively can be done if you just take a look around you. Where is the nearest exit? Where would you hide? What can you use as a weapon?”
There are three basic steps everyone should follow when reacting to an armed intruder
RUN – Know in advance the locations of the nearest exits. Know what’s on the other side of those exits.
HIDE – Locate a place you can be concealed. Lock or cover the windows and doors. Silence your phone and stay quiet.
FIGHT – Look around your work area to locate items that can be used as a weapon such as scissors, a heavy object, even a spray can of air freshener or bug spray.
And remember, if you see something, say something. Stopping an attack before it happens will save lives.
Active Shooter Videos from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency