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10/25/12: Emerson Hospital Conducts Successful Emergency Preparedness Drill

Emerson Hospital is designed to protect and heal the most vulnerable within the community, with an equal commitment to the safety of its employees and visitors. As part of that dedication, Emerson partnered with the Concord Police Department to conduct its first drill simulating an active shooter on the hospital campus on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

“We have no reason to believe an incident like this would ever take place here,” said Jekaterina Porter, manager of safety & security at Emerson Hospital, “but in light of well-publicized events elsewhere, we want to be proactive.”

Earlier this year, Emerson’s Emergency Preparedness Committee developed a formal response plan to an active shooter scenario and conducted training and education so all staff members know what procedures to follow, what to expect from law enforcement and immediate actions to take to stay safe.

As scripted on the day of a drill, an actor portraying a disgruntled employee went to the Human Resources department where he pulled a “gun” and took a hostage. Emerson’s staff contacted the Concord Police Department, which responded within minutes and subdued the suspect. At no time were actual weapons used by either the actor or the police officers in the drill.

“We hope we never have to put these skills into action,” Porter added, “but it’s vital to be prepared in order to mitigate any type of risk hospital-wide.”

Concord Police Training Officer Jeffrey Shelley agreed that preparation is the best defense.

“Communication between staff members at Emerson and the Concord PD is critical,” he said. “This was a good exercise for both parties to evaluate policy, procedures, responses and resources.”

Emerson Hospital is a multi-site health system headquartered in Concord, Mass., with additional facilities in Sudbury, Groton and Westford. The 179-bed hospital provides advanced medical services to more than 300,000 individuals in 25 towns. To learn more, visit www.emersonhospital.org.