Interim President and CEO
June 3, 2022
Run. Hide. Fight.
If you have not heard, on Wednesday there were two separate shooting incidents in healthcare facilities within the U.S., one in Oklahoma that left 5 dead and another in Ohio leaving 2 dead. This is of course in addition to the horrific events in Buffalo and Uvalde over the past few weeks. Though these events may seem far from home, the reality is the same events could happen here. I share this with you not to scare you, but to prepare you.
As federal and state officials posture for new legislation to prevent more shootings, the real work to prevent and respond to an active shooter is done right here on the ground by you and me.
In my few months here it’s become evident that this organization already has a strong focus on emergency preparedness, including active shooter training. With the absolute goal being to prevent it from ever occurring within these walls, it’s important to recognize the role we all play in this objective. From “see something, say something,” securing entrances, to utilizing our de-escalation training skills, it’s important that we all continue to engage in encounters with patients and family members that keep us safe and that do not result in elevated aggression. Recognizing that in many active shooter incidents, it’s often a series of events that lead to the unthinkable occurring.
As a team, it’s equally important that we know how to respond in the event an active shooter incident ever did occur, as an appropriate and timely response could save countless lives. We currently have a well-established active shooter response plan in place with many protocols and action steps to reduce harm. Your emergency preparedness team continues to test and improve the response plan through tabletop drills which are a simulation of an emergency response that involves local and state police, Oneida Health staff, and other first responders. We are currently coordinating with local officials to host a tabletop drill in the coming months to further improve and update our active shooter response plan.
Run. Hide. Fight. These are tactics you can use to keep yourself and others safe during an active shooter attack. Learning these principles now will prepare and empower you to put them into practice—and survive—should the unthinkable occur. Please consider watching the video at the top of the page provided by the FBI on these life-saving tactics.
I share all of this with you today because the safety of you folks, our patients, and residents is paramount to this organization. You are the heartbeat of Oneida Health and do incredible work, having to worry about this only adds to the daily stresses, hence it is incumbent on us as leaders to make sure that we are ensuring as safe an environment as possible for you to continue to provide care. Though we have done many of the right things to help prevent or limit the impact of an active shooter incident, there is always room for improvement and I want you to know that we are and will continue to do everything we can moving forward to keep you safe.
Interim President and CEO