Shooting drill at SwedishAmerican tests hospital/police response - – Rockford’s News Leader

Shooting drill at SwedishAmerican tests hospital/police response


A scenario that we've seen play out over and over happens in Rockford, a shooter inside business trying to kill people. But in today's case it's just a drill to prepare SwedishAmerican Health System for the worst.

SwedishAmerican Hospital went under a code silver, an active shooter inside the hospital. As a man makes his way down the hall of the East State Street entrance he fires off multiple shots hitting 5 people. Fortunately, it's a Rockford cop playing the role of "shooter." The guns are all plastic and there is not even a shot fired but instead he shouts, "bam!" as he points the gun.

Rockford Police, SwedishAmerican Hospital staff and EMS all had their roles to play in the active shooter drill.

"A white male subject in their State Street main lobby that was armed with a handgun was shooting people. We had three officers arrive quickly," says Lt. Pat Hoey in the media briefing after the event.

Everything played out just like it would have in real time. The actors who played the victims in this shooting drill seemed so real the hospital ended up stopping the full exercise early. That's because the emergency room thought there was an actual shooting victim being brought in.

"The emergency room went on alert because this person here was a real shooting victim so from their perspective they weren't play-acting they were presuming that this one actor in the concourse was a real shooting victim. When that alert came from the emergency room they said we have to stop the drill to put all hands on deck to attend to the real shooting victim," says Dr. Bill Gorski, SwedishAmerican Health System CEO.

SwedishAmerican leaders say that was not the only issue. A victim was not noticed for minutes and Dr. Gorski questions some of the response but says it's all part of the learning process.

"I absolutely know that with all the people with the vests on you saw taking notes, they are observing the time frame, how long did it take to react from the time that the all clear was in and we will be looking at that carefully," says Dr. Gorski.

Two area schools did their own drills along with SwedishAmerican. Lincoln Middle School and Nelson Elementary School which are both nearby, practiced hard lock-down drills

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