PMH and Local Agencies Enact Active Shooter Exercise Drill

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BRAWLEY — The local hospital and several emergency response agencies participated in an active shooter drill exercise Thursday afternoon at the Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District hospital.

“The goal of today is to figure out if there’s any weaknesses with the protocols we have in place,” explained Chris Herring, an organizer of the exercise. “We also want to see what the strengths are to the plans. This is not the first drill we’ve done as a county, we do multiple drills a year. This is the first time in recent history that we’ve done any type of active shooter drill, but we’re frequently drilling.”

The local exercise tested local emergency response agencies and communication plans. People, first responders and medical staff were tested to see how they would do if involved in the event of a live, active shooter coming onto their facility. Exercise plans were based off realistic threats that were reenacted at Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District.

“The drills vary based on the scenario and on the participation from volunteers,” said Herring. “One of the challenges we usually face when we do any kind of drill or exercise is getting volunteers. For this drill, we actually had really good participation, not just from the healthcare facilities, but some of our outside partners.”

Six agencies participated in the local active shooter exercise drill including Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District, Imperial County Public Health, Brawley Police Department, Brawley Fire Department, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“It was a positive drill in a sense that people got together,” commented Herring. “We got to see where the plan was and actually put the plan in place that we’ve been planning for a while and actually use it and see if it works”.

“We had over 200 people participate in this exercise,” said Frank G. Salazar, Director of Marketing & Public Affairs at Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District. “Two hundred people properly were notified and participated with this exercise. We had the proper resources and the proper agencies on hand to guide us through this exercise. Through their help, they guided us through the drill and it was a success.”

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