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Hospital holds active shooter drill

Police teamed up with medical personnel Thursday to prepare for an active shooter scenario, which was once considered unthinkable, but has now become all too real across the country.

The emergency preparedness drill was a coordinated effort between the Greenville Police Department and L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital.

Hospital CEO Donny Rentfro said the drill was about preparing for the worst.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever done this type of exercise,” he said. “We’ve held drills for all types of events, from tornadoes to mass casualties, but we’ve never done this before. It’s not a scenario that anyone wants to think about happening here, but in today’s climate, we know that it’s something we need to prepare for. We hope we never have to put in practice.”

Rentfro praised the performance of the officers that responded to the mock crime scene, as well as the hospital’s staff.

“Our staff did a great job,” Rentfro said. “We’ll get some feedback from the police department on things we can do better or may need to change, but I thought our staff did very well.

“I was also really impressed with the police officers. It’s obvious the level of training they have received. They know exactly how to respond in such a situation. I was very impressed.”

Hospital staff simulated tactics of their own to protect themselves and patients, such as “Run, Hide, Fight,” which is considered a best practice from the Department of Homeland Security.

Capt. Justin Lovvorn, team leader for the GPD’s Special Response Team, said the drill showed that while there are areas that can be improved, the hospital has a good plan in place to respond should the need arise.

“The staff was able to observe some minor areas that needed improvement and the Special Response Team was able to provide recommendations and answer questions,” Lovvorn said. “The drill itself went well and shows that the hospital has a good basic plan for handling this type of incident. The only way to improve and be better prepared for what may happen is to do drills like this and be open to feedback. I commend L.V. Stabler for requesting us to do this drill.”

Lovvorn said the Special Response Team is available to provide a similar drill to interested businesses in the community, and also offers training for citizens in how to respond to an active shooter situation.

To schedule a drill, contact Lovvorn at the (334) 382-7461.