In November, a group of interdisciplinary UF Health staff members participated in an active-shooter response drill with the UF Police Department, Gainesville Police Department, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and Gainesville Fire Rescue. The drill simulated an active shooter scenario, requiring our staff to test their emergency response training.
Crisis response planning and testing helps us create a safer environment in which we are prepared for any event. Training helps us remember procedures, act quickly and think more clearly in emergencies.
“Drills provide an opportunity to test written policies and procedures and ensure that proper education and training occurs,” said Suzanne DeKay, MSPH, UF Health Shands Safety, Security and External Transportation director. “They also create a familiarity with the expected response among staff, which can improve the response in an actual emergency.”
The exercise was a powerful learning experience. Putting staff in a stressful scenario to role-play with others initiated valuable team discussions. It reinforced the need for staff to thoroughly understand our emergency response plans. The staff involved are taking their lessons learned back to their teams and UF Health Shands will continue offering practice exercises to continually build people’s skills.
Find emergency response resources — including unit and department plans, guidelines, contacts and more — on the Bridge. Search “Emergency Operations.” Complete online preparedness training: Visit mytraining.hr.ufl.edu and search “Emergency Preparedness: Active shooter response.”