Southern Ohio Medical Center will be working with local law enforcement, as well as the Portsmouth Fire Department, to conduct an active shooter drill at SOMC’s newly constructed South Campus on August 22.
The drill is scheduled to take place between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., and will include SOMC staff, community members and officers from several local law enforcement and emergency response agencies.
“This is an opportunity for us to test our policies and ensure that, should an event like this ever actually occur, we will be prepared to keep our patients and staff as safe as possible,” SOMC Director of Safety Services Christy Timberlake said. “It is also an opportunity for local law enforcement to build a familiarity with our new facility.”
During the drill, an active shooter situated will be simulated with participants playing the roles of bystanders and even victims. The sound of gunshots will also be simulated, but there will be no actual firearms in use.
“For the purposes of the drill, we want to create an environment that is realistic. However, as always, our number one priority is safety,” Timberlake said. “There will be no actual firearms on site and if, at any point, our participants become uncomfortable we will be able to pause the simulation and excuse them from the exercise.”
While the active shooter drill will take place in a contained environment, the community will have an opportunity to see the new South Campus facility for themselves when SOMC hosts an open house on August 25.