PCH prepares with active shooter drill

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 4:17 PM EDT
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PRINCETON, W.Va. (WVVA) - Active shooter situations erupt with little or no warning. It can occur at any time and any place. Leaders with Princeton Community Hospital teamed up with local law enforcement agencies to review their plan. Should the unthinkable unfold in the place where you’re supposed to receive care rather than be trying to dodge bullets.

“It’s important for us especially from a tactical side to familiarize ourselves with the different constructions of the building and where sensitive equipment is. How the HVAC systems work and what tactics can we use and what can’t we use,” said Princeton Police Lieutenant Eric Pugh.

“The drill really just gives us good information about how we handle that situation. What we need our employees to do and then the police department also has an opportunity to come into our building and to be able to partner with us and work on how we would handle an event should it occur in our community,” said President and CEO, Karen Bowling.

The security team at the hospital has a direct line to Princeton police. The response time should be 30 seconds or less. However without the proper training, Pugh says it would be a much tougher task to navigate through the building if they were trying to stop an active shooter.

“It’s an absolute must. Because these are skills and abilities that deteriorate over time if you don’t work on them. The same way as a ball player or anything else. If you don’t maintain those skills they degrade rapidly,” said Pugh.

Those skills for police include training from a former CIA contractor and they’re skills they hope they never have to use, but if they do they’ll be ready.

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