Johns Hopkins Shooting Shows Need to Prepare

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Johns Hopkins alerted employees and students at the hospital and the university campus soon after the shooting, says Earl Stoddard III, PhD, MPH, public health program manager with the Center for Health & Homeland Security at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. He is a former Hopkins student and still on the school’s e-mail list, so he received an e-mail about the incident within 10 minutes, he says. Hopkins also used the social networking site Twitter to send out alerts.

“Their flash messaging to both employees and students in the surrounding school buildings was quick,” he says. “Their overall planning seemed to have worked well. Their emergency operations plan, which includes the scenario of an active shooter, was put into place quickly. They also worked well with the city police response.”

An active shooter makes evacuation of an entire facility difficult or inadvisable, Stoddard says. An emergency plan should include provisions for notifying staff to stay and shelter in place, rather than risk leaving their workspaces and running into the shooter, Stoddard says.

“At Johns Hopkins, a nurse on the floor recognized immediately that something was wrong and got everyone out of the immediate area, then called security, which locked it down,” he says. “That isolated the danger. In that regard, it appears their plan was very successful.”

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