Hospital Faces Active Shooter Scenario: DRI President Weighs in on Prep Effectiveness

EmergencyPreparation turned into reality for Inova Fairfax Hospital in Washington on March 31, when an active shooter scenario erupted on the medical campus just a day after emergency preparation had been part of a board discussion.

In the wake of the emergency, the Washington Business Journal reached out to DRI International president Al Berman to discuss the crisis response planning the hospital – and all organizations – need to take. “This event, believe it or not, is not unusual,” cautioned Berman. Pointing to the most critical point in the response, immediately after the incident, he explained, “It breaks down at the beginning with notification.”

For Inova Fairfax Hospital, after a convicted bank robber overpowered a guard and took her firearm, response was almost immediate. The incident began at 3:00 a.m., and by 3:05 a.m., executives were called. By 3:15 a.m., a lockdown was in effect: a security perimeter was set up quickly by Fairfax County police restricting access to the hospital, allowing only those from the administrative suite to enter as police swept the building.

One lucky break: because the incident occurred overnight, the hospital was already in a controlled-access environment with exterior doors locked. Read more about the hospital’s emergency response plan, and what other organizations can learn from it, by clicking here.

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