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Active Shooter and Operations Planning

With mass shootings happening throughout the country, safety and security is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Business owners and management are trying to determine how best to respond to these new threats and build in an Active Shooter element within their Crisis Management Plan. This is particularly true of all healthcare providers and organizations that serve the elderly and the disabled community. When we think of “Active Shooter” incidents we often think of this happening within our school systems. The reality is, however, this is happening everywhere. So the question is what are you doing to prepare your staff for such an event?

The answer more often than not is that most organizations are doing very little to prepare for such an event. Or, they find that their current Crisis Management Plan is woefully out of date. The end result is loss of life, severe long term injuries and of course, years of litigation that often makes front page news. The physical and financial damage not only affects the insurer but the organization itself will have a black eye that may linger well beyond the tenure of the current CEO. The two key cornerstones to responding to any crisis is planning and training those who will be executing that plan. The American Healthcare Association recently released Active Shooter Prevention and Response Guidelines for healthcare facilities. The essence of this document provides the healthcare industry with a good overview on what their staff should be preparing for.

However, every facility is different and a uniformed approach is not realistic for the employees who will have to deal with the situation when it happens. The first step to understanding your facility’s needs, from an Active Shooter prevention and response standpoint, is to have an in-depth safety and security evaluation completed on your property. Based on that evaluation, conclusions can then be drawn and applied to the overall Crisis Management Plan that the organization currently has on file. With the completion of this in-depth on-site evaluation, the staff can be trained on prevention and response to Active Shooters along with other deadly threat situations.

Regardless of your role in a healthcare facility, everyone should play a part in the prevention and response to crisis situations. Whether you are a clinician, caregiver, administrator, maintenance worker or food service technician you need to know what to do.  It’s about having an educated workforce who can project and amplify security awareness beyond what their job title suggests. No one should be excluded from this process.  By following this holistic approach, you create a collective response that provides the organization, the residents, visitors and/or the patients with a much greater level of safety and security.

Stay Safe!  Be Grantham Safe!

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