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Medical Center’s active shooter policy updated

Feb. 20, 2014, 9:48 AM

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has revised the existing Code Silver/Active Shooter policy and will require faculty, staff and house staff to complete an Active Shooter Training Module on VandySafe as part of the annual performance evaluation. Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing and School of Medicine students are also required to complete the Medical Center training module.

The University campus will also offer guidelines for its faculty and staff.

Although active shooter incidents are not an everyday occurrence, there is the potential for this type of incident, especially at schools, shopping centers, college campuses, movie theatres and hospitals.

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined or populated area.

High profile active shooter situations have included the Columbine High School shooting that killed 13 and wounded 24 in 1999 and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that claimed 26 lives in 2012.

“It is important that we formulate an effective response in the event an active shooter situation occurs on the Medical Center campus — this means developing policies, procedures, training and education to prepare and mitigate for such an event,” said Pam Hoffner, MSN, R.N., VUMC’s director of Emergency Preparedness and Response.

“Medical Center faculty and staff are responsible for knowing and assisting others concerning actions for their area in the event of an active shooter situation,” she said.

There are four actions that can be taken if an active shooter is present on the Medical Center campus:

• Hide Out (Do not abandon patients if you are in a patient care area)

• Get Out (if you are not in a patient care area, evacuate as soon as it’s safe, and assist others if possible)

• Alert Police (Call VUPD if on the main campus, or applicable police department at other sites — One Hundred Oaks, offsite clinics, etc.)

• Take Out (ONLY as a last resort and ONLY when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to incapacitate the shooter)

Traci Nordberg, associate vice chancellor and chief human resources officer, said, “It is critically important that we prepare in order to protect ourselves, students, colleagues and others if the need arises. Because these situations occur unexpectedly and unfold rapidly, the University expects everyone to become familiar with the response protocol and prepare to respond quickly and effectively.”

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