Bellville Police Chief, Jason Smalley held an inservice for the Bellville Medical Center on instruction concerning the prevention, reaction, and training related to an active shooter situation. The Bellville Medical Center is Austin County’s only local hospital and as such, has to be prepared for many situations that may arise. Workplace violence in health care settings is a factor that must be considered with Emergency departments (EDs) being considered particularly vulnerable.
In one study investigating shootings which occurred in hospital settings from 2000 through 2011, it was discovered that there were 154 shootings, with a total of 235 victims, either injured or killed. Of these 154 events, 59% occurred within the hospital itself, which included 29% in the emergency department and 19% in patient rooms; 41% of the events were on the hospital grounds, including 23% in the parking lot. Of the shootings that took place in an emergency department, 23% of them involved the perpetrator using a security officer’s gun. Shootings were also more common in larger hospitals (greater than 400 beds) (Kelen, Catlett, Kubit, & Hsieh, 2012).
Though the above study is nationwide in its scope and the likelihood of such an event happening in a rural setting such as Austin County is unlikely, inservices such as these are invaluable to have staff aware and with the knowledge of how to handle the situation should the unthinkable happen.
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