Code Silver = Active Shooter! What would you do?

This code should be universal, unfortunate but true! Do you know what to do in an active shooter situation? I would probably freeze or try to rescue a patient or staff member. It would be my natural instinct. Well, what you should do is RUN, HIDE, or FIGHT in that order! Run: if you can alert staff, hit a panic button, overhead page, that’s great, if not…RUN to save your life! That’s one thing I never got, how to just save my life, but when you think about it, it’s true. Hide: barricade yourself in a room that locks, under a desk, behind a cabinet, under a staircase etc. anywhere that is out of sight and preferably a locked area. If all else fails and you have nowhere to run or hide, Fight it out. Find an object to pick up or use your natural weapons…body, hands and feet! This is certainly nothing I had to learn growing up, we never had to shelter in place or lock down in any of the schools I attended, but this is the day and age in which we live in now. It’s not something I like to consume myself with, but this is part of my job now and I have an obligation to keep our patients, staff and family members safe. 
Honestly, I think if we’re going to invest in earthquake drills, and fire drills, what’s another drill? We all know how to drop, cover, and hold on and to rescue, alert, contain, and evacuate, but do we all know RUN, HIDE or FIGHT? I don’t know, do you? I never heard this until I started in this field of emergency management. We have yet to have an active shooter drill at our hospital, but it is coming down the pipeline that Occupational Safety and Health Administration will require hospitals to have developed programs addressing workplace violence as they see it as a “recognizable hazard” by 2017. This is obviously a preventative measure, but it’s a step in the right direction. Hospital have some much to focus their attention on with patient care and the quality of their care and meeting all the regulatory requirements that drill just end up being an exercise, get it done, move on. This is increasingly becoming part of our daily lives and we are responsible for taking action, preparing, drilling, and planning. Once we have taken those steps and mastering them, we can rest assure that when the time comes, we know what to do and how to do it. I hope that all workplaces and schools invest in knowing what to do. It’s not living in fear, its living. 
I’m convinced you will agree with the need to be trained and prepared in an event of an active shooter. If your place of employment doesn’t have a drill exists…encourage them to get start one! 
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