Hospital workers take part in shooter drill

Thomasville Police Department
Posted at 3:24 PM, Jun 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-23 18:16:41-04

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL)--Hospital workers in south Georgia prepare for the worst.

It may never happen but in the wake of mass shootings across our country, a Thomasville hospital wants to be ready. Workers and emergency responders in the community participated in a drill.

A pretend suspect shoots up Archbold Memorial Hospital.

"Everyone needs to be prepared for a situation that can happen any time at any location," said Lt. Tim Watkins with the Thomas County Sheriff's Office.

As police and deputies storm into the hospital, nurses tend to victims and others take cover, shutting off the lights and barricading themselves in their offices.

"We tell them to avoid the location where the shooter is," said Charles Winchester, Archbold's emergency management director. "What we're going to avoid is being in the hallways. Instead of hiding out, what we need them to do is barricade."

Law enforcers say timing is everything when it comes to violent situations. Emergency responders use these drills to learn the ins and outs of buildings in town.

"It's good we know the lay out of the building sometimes," said Lt. Eric Hampton with the Thomasville Police Department. "We try to go in and learn how to get from point a to point b, where people can hide."

Thursday's drill lasted about two hours, but it's been in the making for two years.

The mock scenario tested out an emergency alert called code silver. It's activated when a shooter or anyone on the campus is trying to kill people.

SWAT team members tell me they recommend businesses and organizations have some type of plan in place to be prepared for any type of violent situation.