Incorporating Active Shooter Incident Planning into Health Care Facility Emergency Operations Plans
National preparedness efforts, including planning, are based on U.S. Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 8: Preparedness, which was signed by the President in March 2011. This updated directive represents an “evolution” in understanding of national preparedness based on lessons learned from rom natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, terrorist acts like the Boston Bombing and active shooter and other violent incidents.
Preparedness is centered in five areas: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery. These concepts are applied to Health Care Facility (HCFs) Planning for active shooters and other violent incidents.
Emergency Operations Plans for Health Care Facilities (EOPs) should be living documents that are routinely reviewed and consider all types of hazards, including the possibility of an active shooter or terrorist incident. As law enforcement continues to draw lessons learned from actual emergencies, HCFs should incorporate those lessons learned into existing emergency plans or in newly created EOPs.
It advises a whole community approach that includes staff, patients, and visitors as well as individuals with access and functional needs. Examples of these populations include children, older adults, pregnant women, individuals with disabilities, etc.
The key concepts include not only familiar concepts like “Run-Hide-Fight” but also concepts on addressing a wider range of risks (threats), how to do drills, improvement of situational awareness activities, expanding the definitions of risks, how to do Psychological First Aid (PFA), and how to integrate these with HIPAA guidelines and Rules and the importance and role of Security in Emergency Operations Planning (EOPs).
Lesson Learned : Don’t Wait to Respond!
A 2005 investigation by the National Institute of Standards and Technology into the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, found that people close to the floors impacted waited longer to start evacuating than those on unaffected floors. Similarly, during the Virginia Tech shooting, individuals on campus responded to the shooting with varying degrees of urgency. (ref: Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster: Occupant Behavior, Egress, and Emergency Communications.)
Frequent Security Situational Awareness Training, and Active Shooter –
Disaster Drills can prevent this “frozen” phenomena and save lives in
a violent incident , a terrorist attack, or a disaster scenario.
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