NORMAN, Okla. — In order to prepare for an active shooter scenario, staff at the Norman Regional Hospital partnered with local law enforcement agencies to organize an armed intruder drill exercise Wednesday.
According to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were 20 active shooter incidents nationwide in both 2014 and 2015. So far this year, there have been 13 active shooter incidents, resulting in 67 deaths.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to participate in the exercise,” Norman Public Information Officer Sarah Jensen said. “The growing relationship we have with Norman Regional allows us to prepare for those (deadly) situations.”
Norman Regional Dr. Patrick Cody said due to the danger active shooters pose and the influx in reports of active shooters, the hospital decided to be proactive.
“Nationally, we have seen an increase in active shooter scenarios, and they’ve started to involve hospitals,” he said. “Collectively, [the hospital] thought it was time to organize an active shooter drill, and involve our staff.”
Cody also serves as the medical director for EMSSTAT and a doctor for the Norman Police SWAT team.
Several people go in and out of hospital each day, which is a big concern in the case of an active shooter.
“Preparation, planning and training in event of an active shooter helps us prepare and utilize our tactics and resources to put a stop to the situation as soon as possible,” Norman Regional paramedic Brandon Gray said.
Norman Lt. Justin Wishon said not every scenario will be the same, but the desired ending never changes.
“Everyone, whether they are negotiators, patrol officers or SWAT, have important roles to play in active shooter scenarios,” he said. “Of course, we can’t exactly replicate the chaos that will ensue in an active shooter situation, but our goal is always to stop the killing—stop the dying—and accomplish a peaceful solution.”
Cody said the staff at Norman Regional will continue to find gaps and fix them.
“We will change things each time we have a drill,” he said. “We want to bring in different aspects so that if a situation does arise, we can act accordingly using all of our operations and tactics.”
Jacob McGuire writes for The Norman Transcript.