On Tuesday, February 21, there was a report of an active shooter at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston. The subsequent “Code White”, broadcast on the hospital PA system, prompted an immediate evacuation and Houston PD launched a full SWAT response. It was great to hear how one articulate, smart employee reacted when panic spread among her co-workers. She told a KHOU reporter:
- I locked and barricaded my door
- I turned off my light
- I put my phone on silent
- I turned off my computer
- I pushed my chairs against the door
- I texted other employees
- If your phone is on silent he may not even know where you are and you can communicate safely with others
- It is unfortunate and it is just a different time. The world is constantly changing and we just have to be ready.
She remained in this self-imposed lockdown until the Doctor for whom she worked told her it was time to, and safe, to evacuate.
Whether she learned from a formal training session, from TV, from a poster on the wall, I am not certain. I know she responded well and I know that basic awareness and response training can save lives by giving people the confidence to react calmly, organize their thoughts, and do the right thing under pressure.