Paris, TN – Henry County Medical Center will be participating in a county wide active shooter drill on Sunday, Oct. 28 at Tennessee Valley Community Church around 1 p.m. The drill will allow HCMC to simulate its response to a mass casualty shooting scenario which will test the emergency services within the organization as part of yearly JCAHO accreditation requirements for the organization.
Earlier this month, HCMC hosted a tabletop drill with 50 people in attendance from the hospital and community law enforcement and emergency personnel to discuss protocols and processes in responding to a mass shooting event in preparing for the active shooter drill set for Sunday, Oct. 28. This event will move beyond classroom training to offer an opportunity to actively participate in emergency scenarios in both a public setting as well as in the ER setting. Volunteers will collaborate with law enforcement to facilitate our local plan for survival and post-event recovery.
Volunteers from TVCC and throughout the community will be involved with the live drill. It is important that the community is aware that this event is a drill, and that anyone not involved with the drill should avoid the TVCC area at the time of the drill.
Public mass shootings account for a tiny fraction of deaths, but they are uniquely terrifying because they occur without warning in the most mundane places. Most of the victims are chosen not for what they have done but simply for where they happen to be. With this in mind, it is very important for those involved to follow the RUN, HIDE, FIGHT tips below and be prepared if something like this happens in our community.
RUN and escape, if possible.
- Getting away from the shooter or shooters is the top priority.
- Leave your belongings behind and get away.
- Help others escape, if possible, but evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
- Warn and prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be.
- Call 911 when you are safe, and describe shooter, location, and weapons.
HIDE, if escape is not possible.
- Get out of the shooter’s view and stay very quiet.
- Silence all electronic devices and make sure they won’t vibrate.
- Lock and block doors, close blinds, and turn off lights.
- Don’t hide in groups- spread out along walls or hide separately to make it more difficult for the shooter.
- Try to communicate with police silently. Use text message or social media to tag your location, or put a sign in a window.
- Stay in place until law enforcement gives you the all clear.
- Your hiding place should be out of the shooter’s view and provide protection if shots are fired in your direction.
FIGHT as an absolute last resort.
- Commit to your actions and act as aggressively as possible against the shooter.
- Recruit others to ambush the shooter with makeshift weapons like chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, books, etc.
- Be prepared to cause severe or lethal injury to the shooter.
- Throw items and improvise weapons to distract and disarm the shooter.
- Keep hands visible and empty.
- Know that law enforcement’s first task is to end the incident, and they may have to pass injured along the way.
- Officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, and/or handguns and may use pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation.
- Officers will shout commands and may push individuals to the ground for their safety.
- Follow law enforcement instructions and evacuate in the direction they come from, unless otherwise instructed.
- Take care of yourself first, and then you may be able to help the wounded before first responders arrive.
- If the injured are in immediate danger, help get them to safety.
- While you wait for first responder to arrive, provide first aid. Apply direct pressure to wounded areas and use tourniquets if you have been trained to do so.
- Turn wounded people onto their sides if they are unconscious and keep them warm.
- Consider seeking professional help for you and your family to cope with the long-term effects of the trauma.
“If this was a true mass shooting event, it is very important to know that HCMC will release information to the media as well as our website and social media as soon as it becomes available,” said Tory Daughrity, Director of Marketing and Public Relations. “Rushing to the scene or to the hospital to see if your loved one is there is the last thing that needs to occur because it hinders the recovery process. It is important that you stay tuned to the radio and all other media channels for up-to-date information on the situation and your loved ones.”
To learn more about how to protect yourself during an active shooter event, check out this video from our very own Craig Peevyhouse, HCMC Disaster Committee Chair, as he discusses what to in such a situation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWTyULWDc78
Located in Paris, TN, Henry County Medical Center is a progressive, integrated healthcare organization committed to serving the healthcare needs of Henry County and the adjoining region. Including a 142-bed hospital and other facilities, the medical center provides a variety of outpatient services, as well as inpatient care. Henry County Medical Center is a county-owned and operated nonprofit institution. For more information: www.hcmc-tn.org.