Mineral County residents who will be using the Mt. Grant General Hospital facility on Thursday, Jan. 18 between the hours of 8 to 10 a.m. should be made aware that an active shooter drill will be held between those hours so that hospital employees, Mineral County Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department can prepare for incidents before they occur.

According to Carol Lemieux, Mt. Grant General Hospital Emergency Manager and Safety Director, “There were 317 shooting events in the United States last year. Active does not necessarily mean shooting. If a gun is used in a threatening manner or brandished, it is considered an active shooter situation. An active shooter situation is danger for everyone.”

Hospital Administrator Hugh Qualls believes that this drill, though uncomfortable for both staff and patients, needs to be completed.

“With changes in the opioid law, we may have some uncomfortable patients. This training is needed,” he said.

The run/hide/fight response is used to training anyone in an active shooter situation, but Qualls pointed out that the hospital has different protocol as his staff still need to get out of the way of the shooter, but must still make sure that those under the hospital’s care are not put into harm’s way.

Employees of the hospital were required to watch a video and sit in on an active shooter class provided by the sheriff’s office.

“Though there may be chaos on Thursday, please remember that no patients will be involved in the training. We are required to provide two of these classes a year,” Lemieux concluded.

Qualls reiterated that, “No one will be in danger during this training.”

If you have any questions regarding this exercise, you may contact Lemieux at the hospital at 775-945-2461.