CoxHealth hosted a successful armed intruder exercise on June 17 to practice our response and preparedness for this type of threat.
"Hospitals face a unique set of challenges when it comes to armed intruder scenarios," says Eric Clay, system director, Public Safety and Security. "We have to ensure our training prepares our officers to mitigate these types of threats, regardless of the environment."
CoxHealth Emergency Management and Public Safety and Security joined teams from the Springfield Police Department, Greene County Sheriff's Office, Springfield Fire Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol in conducting the exercise.
The training scenario centered around an armed intruder who made his way through the Turner Center and West Tower lobbies. Cox College and OTC students played the role of shooting victims.
Security, law enforcement and first responders practiced procedures for engaging the intruder and safely removing the wounded from the area.
"The exercise allowed us to measure the effectiveness of our training, our tactics, and our overall response to an armed threat," Clay says. "Our officers and guards did a fantastic job of quickly locating and engaging the threat."
Clay says coordinating with the other agencies that would be likely to respond in an actual incident was a valuable experience.
"The event provided a lot of great takeaways, and we are already using them to improve the training we provide to our team," he says.
This is the second armed intruder exercise at a CoxHealth facility. Cox Branson held a successful exercise last year.