Let’s say you want to setup an emergency preparedness drill for a hospital. As part of the planning committee do you:
A – Create a list of potential emergency situations and hold a training day for hospital staff on how to prepare for such situations?
B – High an outside group to prepare a detailed report on mechanisms the hospital can implement to best survive likely emergency situations?
C – Hire an armed man to run into the emergency room one random day to terrorize the staff by aiming a firearm at them?
If you answered C you may be the exact type of person St. Rose Dominican Hospitals-Siena Campus hospital is looking for. Via Bruce Schneier’s blog we learned this was what the above mentioned hospital decided to do for terrorism preparedness:
How’s this for an ill-conceived emergency preparedness drill? An off-duty cop pretending to be a terrorist stormed into a hospital intensive care unit brandishing a handgun, which he pointed at nurses while herding them down a corridor and into a room.
I can’t imagine how this could possible go wrong.
But in Monday’s incident, which occurred in a unit that houses the hospital’s sickest patients, nurses, patients and their families did not know it was a drill, said Renee Ruiz, organizer of the California Nurses Association, which represents staff at the hospital.
So nobody present knew this was a drill. Although it was reported by the Las Vegas Sun the incident took place in Nevada where people are allowed to carry a firearm through licensing. Imagine if one of those doctors or a patient had been carrying a firearm and decided to shoot the person he or she believed was a terrorist (I’d say a man running into a hospital brandishing a firearm at people would be good grounds for a self-defense case).
These kinds of acts have consequences. The hospital which designed and enacted the drill should have thought this through a little more thoroughly. Likewise the off-duty officer they hired should be brought this potential problem to their attention. There are simply layers of stupidity here that can’t be overlooked.