All hospital staff members must be keenly aware of how to respond to a variety of situations, as they never know what may come through those hospital doors. A well-developed crisis management plan and a solid relationship with law enforcement and first responders are vital for the safety of the staff and the community.
On Tuesday, St. Luke’s Health-Memorial leaders and staff, along with members of the San Augustine police department and the incoming San Augustine County Sheriff, executed a mock exercise involving an active shooter in the facility. The team went through the process of necessary protocols in case a tragedy like this was to occur.
“We did the exercise to assess the organization’s capabilities to respond and recover from a multi-hazard incident in accordance with our established plans,” said St. Luke’s Health-Memorial San Augustine Assistant Administrator Ashley London. “We wanted to practice working through an emergency situation and improve coordination between hospital departments and local law enforcement.”
London said the exercise lasted approximately 45 minutes and went very well. Certainly no one wishes for a situation like this to happen, but the Memorial staff realizes they must be prepared regardless.
“Our staff was engaged and posed really thoughtful questions surrounding the scenario on what their actions and responsibilities should be if this were to occur,” London said. “Of course, all of the staff voiced concerns on how they could help protect and/or assist patients. I felt a large part of the success to the exercise was having Chief Fountain, Officer Sowell and Mr. Cartwright there to offer their professional insight and experience to the situation.”