It’s among everyone’s worst fear: An active shooter, loose in the workplace.
When that workplace is a maze of hallways and rooms, filled with patients, visitors, and medical professionals, the sheer number of potential victims, and places the shooter can go, compound the terror and potential damage.
That is the scenario officials at Northern Hospital of Surry County found themselves facing Thursday morning.
Well, sort of.
The hospital periodically runs drills to test its ability to deal with real-life disasters of various sorts, and Thursday officials there ran a drill simulating an active shooter inside the facility.
The hospital, along with the Mount Airy Police Department, Surry County EMS, Surry County Emergency Management, and the Triad Healthcare Preparedness Coalition, staged the exercise on the third floor of the hospital.
Surry Community College paramedic and EMT students participated as shooting victims.
“This exercise was a great success in recognizing opportunities for improvement in the areas of safety and communication for our patients, guests, and staff,” said Darin Manuel, manager, Safety/Security and Emergency Management Exercise Coordinator.
“In the coming weeks the hospital and local agencies will work toward process improvement plans to better prepare our campus and community for events we hope never happen,”