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DHMC and Lebanon officials participate in live shooter drill - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

DHMC and Lebanon officials participate in live shooter drill

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LEBANON, N.H. -

Lebanon Police officers responded to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center's Heater Road facility for reports of shots fired. Inside multiple victims are down with various wounds. More officers from surrounding departments race toward the building to apprehend the shooter who is still inside. Luckily, this is only a drill.

"Unfortunately, I think in today's society, these are real world events. Just look around the country at the things that can happen. It gives us an opportunity to work with our community partners as well as our police department for an integrated response to an unfortunate incident," said Lebanon Fire Chief Chris Christopoulos.

After the shooter is taken into custody, the triage begins. Ambulances from Lebanon, Hanover and Hartford arrive on scene. It's a coordinated response to a hazard vulnerability assessment that the medical center evaluates on a regular basis.

"Now a shooting is not necessarily most likely to occur, but it is a high risk event. Low probability, high risk. So, we try to practice those types of events as well as the incidents we believe probably will happen," said Jim Alexander, the emergency management coordinator.

Doctors and nurses at Dartmouth-Hitchcock's emergency room get to work. Not only are actors taking part in the drill, robotic mannequins are as well. DHMC is New Hampshire's only Level I trauma center which means it has to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

"We have our ED mass-casualty which is designed to take up to 15 patients. Then we have a code purple where we involve the regional hospitals as well to distribute patients with us still being the primary referral," said Dr. Eric Martin, the incident command medical director.

It's a drill where nurses, doctors, firefighters and police find themselves working together to solve an urgent problem. And officials say drills like this are the best way to make sure they are all prepared.

"We are not really used to these types of events and I think it is good to have the training to prepare for such circumstances," said Martin.

The medical center is required to perform drills like this twice a year as part of its accreditation. Hospital officials say while on this day it could have been a live shooter, it could have been a bomb, a fire, or a bus accident all of which are mass-casualty situations that require immediate emergency response.

A nearby nursing home was locked down as part of Monday’s drill. Had this been a real disaster, Lebanon High School, which is directly across the street, would have been locked down as well.

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