Posted Thursday, January 17, 2013 --- 6:50 p.m.
Mass shootings can happen anywhere at anytime.
That's why staff at St.Mary's Hospital in Madison took some time Thursday morning to prepare for the unthinkable. We want to stress that the following story you are about to see is only a drill.
St. Mary's along with the Madison Police department and other law enforcement staged an active-shooter simulation.
“Over the past several years, you've seen more and more police departments and other first responder agencies practice for active shooters and mass causalities,” said Madison Police officer Ed Marshall.
“We have a lot of other lives to look out for other than our own,”
Stehpanie Lehmann has been preparing this drill for more than a year.
“It's horrible we have to plan this way, but in an event that it would happen, I would much rather have all my staff and my co-workers prepared and know how to respond than not,”
“It's sad and scary and it could happen anywhere, when we were planning for this drill it happened in Connecticut,” said Beth Risler with the Madison Fire Department.
About 40 staff members participated playing the parts of patients, victims and nurses.
“They are glad we are preparing them, they wanna be ready in case something happens,” said Lehmann
“We believe in collaboration and communication,”
John Watts works for a hospital in North Carolina. A situation like this actually happened at his workplace last year.
“A gentleman pulled the gun and a police officer happened to be in the emergency department in that waiting room and he was shot by the police officer,” said John.
“And when it really happens, it really opens to your eyes to what the issues can be and what you have to plan for,” he added.
They made this simulation as life-like as possible with the bad guys yelling, patients screaming and even fake gunshot wounds.
“There's a lot of panic, there is a lot of elevated emotions in a real event and that's what our goal is to make people's heart's start pounding and really start thinking about what they would do because in a real-life scenario, people tend to freeze and they don't know how to respond,” said Lehmann.
Authorities and staff members performed at their best...
“I think things went pretty well,” said Marshall after the drill concluded.
In preparation for the worst.
The Sun Prairie and Milwaukee Police Departments also participated in Thursday's drill.