Saturday 20th July 2024

Critical Readiness: T.J. Regional Health and Law Enforcement conduct active shooter drill

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Phase two of the drill offered a glimpse into the precision and readiness law enforcement use to secure a scene.
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Phase two of the drill offered a glimpse into the precision and readiness law enforcement use to secure a scene.

T.J. Regional Health employees participated in a comprehensive active shooter drill, serving both as a critical training exercise for hospital staff and a simulation training for the Barren County Sheriff’s Office and Glasgow Police Department as well as Glasgow Fire department and Barren-Metcalfe EMS.
Sheriff Kent Keen spoke one the collaborative efforts that went into planning the exercise.
This exercise, split into two phases, was designed to enhance readiness and coordination in the event of a real active shooter scenario.
In the first phase of the drill, hospital employees were given limited information regarding the timing of the simulated shooter’s arrival. This uncertainty was meant to test their immediate readiness and response to an active shooter threat.
Employees had to quickly implement lockdown procedures, communicate effectively, and ensure their safety.
John Thomas, the hospital’s compliance officer and director over security and risk management, spoke on the education employees receive to mitigate danger in a situation like this.
During the second phase, employees lined the hallways to observe the tactical approach and procedures of the responding officers. This allowed staff to gain insight into the law enforcement’s methods of clearing rooms and handling potential threats, providing a unique perspective on the critical actions taken by police during such emergencies.
The drill emphasized the importance of quick, decisive action and seamless coordination between hospital staff and law enforcement. The drill was made as realistic as possible, an aspect that cannot be overstated in its importance as Keen explains.
According to the FBI, there were 48 active shooter incidents in the United States in 2023, occurring across various locations, including healthcare facilities. This marks a 60% increase from 2019. In Kentucky specifically, the heightened awareness and preparedness are crucial as part of broader efforts to mitigate these threats.
The drill also highlighted the proactive steps taken by T.J.  to ensure the safety of its staff and patients. Thomas explained that the hospital has employed the use of a text messaging system that allows for mass communication in the event of an emergency.
Overall, the active shooter drill at T.J. Regional Health not only prepared employees for a potential threat but also strengthened the collaborative efforts between the community and local law enforcement agencies.
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