UTMC staff goes through active shooter training

Trainers used the motto "run, hide, or fight" so each person can decide what works for them to survive and protect their patients.
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 7:06 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The staff at the University of Toledo Medical Center experienced an active shooter training drill Tuesday. They hope they’ll never have to use those lessons in real life.

“Run, hide, or fight” was the message but there’s no right or wrong way to handle one of these. The biggest takeaway was that no one did anything better, or had a better plan, than the other staff members. Each person did what they thought was necessary to survive.

UTMC nurse Jill Kirk came face-to-face with the simulated shooter in the yellow shirt as she tried to tend to her patient on what was a typical day.

“It was very unnerving when you are at your place of work and someone is coming in to harm you and you’re not prepared for that,” said Jeff Newton, University of Toledo VP of Public Safety.

The simulated gunman entered the hospital and started shooting. He started at the front desk, making his way upstairs going room to room. Inside patient rooms staff members like Kirk closed and barricaded doors. Some even turned off lights to keep the shooter away.

“It was scary,” said Kirk. “Eye opening and I think it’s becoming more relevant everyday.”

“There are certain situations where there are no possibilities really to survive but if there is a small opportunity there are things that can increase your likelihood of survival,” said Newton.

That’s why the motto of “run, hide or fight” was taught with each person deciding what worked for them, keeping them and their patients alive.

The University of Toledo scheduled this drill 6 months ago but with recent mass shootings across the country, which include a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this one became much more timely.

As the medical teams tended to the injured, UT police searched for that suspect. He was eventually taken into custody.

It was a simulation but participants said their hearts were racing, with the hope this is the last time they encounter something like this.

“All kinds of venues are being attacked for different reason or no reason at all. It could be anywhere,” said Kirk.

The first part of the training was de-escalation by dealing with a problem person, getting security involved if needed to bring down a situation before it becomes more dangerous.

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