First responders, healthcare staff undergo active shooter drill in Hillsborough

5December 2021

— On Sunday, a team of first responders partnered with staff members from a Triangle hospital for an active shooter drill.

The training took place inside UNC Hospitals Hillsborough campus, a four-story tower that hasn’t opened yet.

Event organizers said it gives staff and law enforcement a chance to know how to respond to an active shooter situation before opening next month.

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Law enforcement agencies from surrounding counties, along with EMS and firefighters came together to test their preparedness for an active shooter scenario.

“This opportunity allows us to train in a way that we’ve never been able to in a real-world environment and it helps to discover those gaps of opportunity for improvement,” said Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood.

Blackwood said participants, including law enforcement, walked into an unknown scenario to prepare them on how to respond to a real-life situation.

“We like for it to be a little chaotic when we start because that’s the way it’s going to be and it allows us to work together,” he added.

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Blackwood said hospitals and healthcare systems across the country are not immune to an active shooter threat, and it’s important to know how to safely react in the situation.

“You’ve just got to be thinking about situation awareness,” said Blackwood. “Don’t become a victim because you didn’t think.”

Organizers said the training was already planned before the Black Friday shooting at The Streets at Southpoint Mall in Durham and the school shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan last week.

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