W. Va. First Responders, Hospital Staff Hold Active Shooter Drill
Times West Virginian, Fairmont
Dec. 16—FAIRMONT—Sonja Raddish found herself on the hospital floor with several simulated torso wounds, waiting for help from first responders.
Luckily for her, the staff at Fairmont Regional Medical Center (FRMC) responded appropriately to the situation and overall performed very well during the active-shooter drill Friday.
"It was actually kind of interesting to see everybody's reaction. We did have actual gunshots, so there was sound and there was commotion, so it was kind of interesting to see how everybody would react," Raddish, director of patient financial services and patient offices, the staff of which played the shooting victims, said. "They screamed; they yelled; the 911 calls went through from the staff."
On Friday, the staff members of FRMC went through an active-shooter drill, which was meant to prepare them in case of a real situation occurring on the premises. Organizations such as the Marion County Rescue Squad and the Fairmont Police Department as well as some bloody makeup helped make the situation come to life.
"We did it in two parts. We started out with an active shooter in an isolated portion of the building and then changed gears and went to a mass-casualty with those victims. So police response times were very good; four minutes from the time of notification until they actually encountered the shooter. EMS did a wonderful job triaging. Fairmont Fire Department helped. Fairmont City Police response was terrific," Jeff Elliott, manager of security at FRMC, said.
Though some employees were aware a drill would take place Friday, they weren't exactly told when or where it would begin. This way, the situation could mimic a real-life emergency in both execution and reaction.
"I think the active-shooter drill went fairly well from a facility standpoint. We were able to triage the patients and identify their injuries and the severity of their injuries—making sure we limit casualties, making sure we limit exposure to other patients," Waid McMillion, emergency room and trauma director, said.
Elliott and McMillion both considered the employees' reaction to the situation as appropriate, but at the same time, it was enjoyable for its participants.
"It was fun. We had a good time. We got the fake makeup. Everybody enjoyed that part of it; it was good," Raddish said.