Culberson Hospital Staff receive “Active Shooter” training

From the left:  Eric Williams, certified by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Program, works with Chester Morris, Culberson Hospital human resources manager, on disarming an active shooter.

Photo provided by Culberson County Hospital

Van Horn, Texas (September 19, 2017) – Two members of the staff at Culberson Hospital learned the basics of how to respond to an active shooter situation at a recent seminar in Abilene, Texas.

Sponsored by Texas Health Insurance Exchange (THIE) and Preferred Management Corporation (Preferred), the seminar emphasized the individual person’s responsibility to defend themselves and those around them in a criminal attack or active shooter situation.   

Jonathon Voelkel, hospital administrator, and Chester Morris, human resources manager, attended the four hour session taught by Eric Williams, the owner and lead instructor of Community Shield Training and Consulting.  Among his many credentials, Williams is a certified law enforcement firearms instructor, a certified SWAT officer and a defensive tactics instructor.

An important component of the program was hands-on training, with attendees participating in exercises to disable or disarm a shooter, barricade doors to help protect occupants and other defensive techniques.  Trouble prevention and avoidance were also key messages conveyed by Williams.

“This training made me much more aware of the risks posed by an active shooter situation,” said Morris, “and gave me some practical tools that I can use should the inconceivable occur.”

“As a hospital, our staff prepares and practices how to take care of the victims of a disaster in our community,” added Voelkel.  “This seminar gave us a foundation for what we can do to protect our staff and visitors from a disaster that could occur in the workplace.”

The FBI defines an active shooter situation as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined or populated area.”  FBI data indicated that the number of active shooter incidents in the U.S. continues to rise, with data for 2014 and 2015 showing the highest average of incidents in a two–year period.

“Although we know such an event is unlikely, we want the staffs at our hospitals to be prepared,” said Andy Freeman, president of Preferred, who also attended the training session.

“The feedback we received after the session has been so positive, that we hope to schedule a similar educational program in each of the communities we serve, offering more of our employees as well as other organizations and agencies an opportunity to participate,” continued Freeman.

Preferred, a Shawnee, Oklahoma based operator of Critical Access Hospitals, is affiliated with one small community hospital in Oklahoma and eight in Texas.  Over 40 staff from the hospitals affiliated with Preferred attended the conference.    


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