Beebe holding active shooter exerciseMedical center operating as usual; patient care unaffected
Beebe Healthcare is holding a training exercise for an active shooter situation at the medical center in Lewes Thursday, Dec. 12. The exercise, which began at noon, is a collaboration among state, county and local agencies, including Delaware State Police, Lewes police and fire departments, and Sussex County Emergency Medical Services personnel.
“This is an extremely important exercise for the hospital and its police, fire, EMS and 911 center partners," says Cheryl Littlefield, RN, CHEP, emergency management coordinator for Beebe Healthcare. “It will give all of our emergency response partners in our area the opportunity to work together to prepare for an active shooter situation. We know that this kind of emergency has been happening around the country, and could happen here."
The exercise, which has been in planning stages for months, may appear to be a real event to onlookers as police, fire and others respond to the activity in the hospital. Helicopters will be flying overhead, and emergency vehicles will be converging on the medical center.
A real situation in which a shooter would be inside the hospital is different from many weather-related emergencies such as hurricanes and snowstorms, because the hospital would have to turn away patients who would otherwise be going to the Emergency Department seeking care. Because patients would have to be taken elsewhere, the exercise will give emergency personnel, including helicopter pilots who serve the area, the opportunity to practice these diversion protocols together.
During the exercise, the medical center will continue to operate as normal, and patient care will not be affected. People who are near the medical center may also notice an increase in noise as an unusual number of helicopters take off and land.
Partner agencies participating are Delaware State Police, Delaware State Police Aviation, Delaware State Police Victims’ Advocates, Sussex County Emergency Medical Services, LifeNet Helicopter, Lewes Fire Department, Lewes Police Department and Sussex County Emergency Operations Center.
Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities it serves. For more information go to www.beebehealthcare.org.