The scenario: an active shooter is on a rampage in Edward Hospital.
Thankfully this is just a drill, coordinated between Naperville police, fire and Edward Hospital.
“Today is kind of the culmination of a year-long planning with Edward Hospital, the Fire Department and Police Department, to get to the point of testing how would Edward Hospital would react, how would the police and fire if there was an active shooter at the hospital,” said Deputy Chief with the Naperville Police Department, Mike Anders.
In this drill, the shooter was visiting a family member who received a negative diagnosis – spurring him to open fire, and seek revenge on the medical staff who delivered the bad news, prompting the hospital staff to take action.
“We all instituted the whole run-hide-fight mantra. Which of course you run away from the assailant, you find a place to hide if you can, and then fighting is that last ditch thing that you have to do to try and protect yourself and protect patients,” said EMS Medical Director at Edward Hospital, Dr. Daryl Wilson, the doctor who delivered the bad news in this scenario.
Staff was encouraged to actually call 9-1-1, also testing those at the Public Safety Answering Point.
The shooter, who is really a training officer with the Naperville Police Department, barricaded himself in a bathroom while pretend victims were spread throughout the ward to better test the emergency personnel’s response.
“We had controllers both police, fire and Edward Hospital staff that was making sure everybody was safe,” said Deputy Chief Anders. “And then we just watched and saw how our staffs responded to such a threat, and they did a great job.”
“The drill was pretty realistic, shooting blanks in the air, having people moulaged, that they’re already having traumatic injuries from being shot,” said Dr. Wilson.
Police and paramedics had to treat the wounded, while also pursuing the threat.
“A little too real, had my heart racing,” said Nursing Supervisor at Edward Hospital, Colleen McKinney. “It was scary, it was actually very scary, the thought of this could actually happen. But we’re prepared.”
Eventually, police were able to evacuate hospital staff and detain the shooter – a successful end to the drill.
“I think we know that there is violence in healthcare arenas, and we always want to be prepared, and so this was a great opportunity to partner with police and fire in order to make sure our staff is prepared and that they’re prepared as well,” said Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Edward Hospital, Pattie Ludwig-Beymer
The scenario will now be reviewed, and used to better plan for future emergencies.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.