Run Hide Fight: Special Meaning in Healthcare Environments

Workplace violence has special significance in healthcare settings. That’s because the rate of assaults on health workers in the U.S. is 400% higher than it is for workers in the private sector, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Concerned about the risks of an active shooter incident, administrators of a regional medical center in the Northeast with more than 100,000 patients per year and a sprawling multi-acre campus commissioned Hillard Heintze to develop a customized Active Shooter Plan for the facility.

Tailoring Run Hide Fight to the Medical Center’s Requirements

Hillard Heintze drew on the findings emerging from its concurrent security operations assessment of the center, as well as its team members’ firsthand experience of active shooter incidents throughout their law enforcement careers. The team set about designing a plan tightly aligned with best practice standards and protocols published by DHS, ASIS International and leading police departments across the country, including the Run Hide Fight protocols. As part of this process, it captured critical input and expectations from third-party first responders, such as state and local law enforcement and emergency management agencies. Organized in line with the critical stages of emergency preparedness – Prevention and Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery, the plan addressed factors such as formation of an Incident Command Team; physical and personnel security mitigation steps; floor plans and blueprints; identification of evacuation routes and plans and safe hiding locations; partnership and collaboration with local law enforcement entities; roles and responsibilities for internal security and non-security personnel; procedures for Run Hide Fight, as well as lockdowns; trauma plans; communication plans; crisis kit assembly; victim counseling; and training and accreditation requirements, among many other areas.

Integrating Active Shooter Planning with Emergency Management

Today, the medical center is integrating this plan within its Emergency Management Plan (EMP) and preparing to share it with employees and third-party responders. Having such a plan in place is a relief to the hospital administrators – as events such as the terrible loss of life at the Washington Naval Yard in September 2013 continue to jolt the country.

Unplugged: The Project Manager’s Perspective

“Customizing these plans is really critical. Since active shooter incidents vary widely and often involve an extensive range of potential scenarios that can change on a minute-to-minute basis, stand-alone plans established from templates don’t work.”

The ACTION WEDNESDAY Tool Box: Two Key Take-Aways

1. Recognize that Active Shooter Plans Are Not Stand-Alone Plans. They must be integrated into your Emergency Management Plan. Any conflicts between the two must be resolved. And roles and responsibilities for various entities much be fully aligned.

2. Once the Plan is Published, Focus Rigorously on Training: Since active shooter incidents are often over within minutes – before the arrival and intervention of police, SWAT teams and other first responders – how your employees act and the choices they individually make with respect to Run Hide Fight are exceptionally important.

active shooter training

(What’s it like on the front line supporting the firm’s clients? What are the challenges the firm’s experts help senior business executives, general counsel, board members and other decision-makers address? Welcome to ACTION WEDNESDAY. Every Wednesday, the Front Line Blog publishes a new case study.)