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Is Your Healthcare Facility Prepared to Respond to Violence?

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Healthcare facilities are uniquely vulnerable to violent attacks because:

  • Often open 24 hours a day, every day
  • Highly trafficked
  • Pharmaceutical drugs on site
  • Distressed or distraught patients or family members in response to procedures and care provided
  • Performance of controversial procedures
  • Ability for patients, visitors, etc. to conceal and bring in handguns and other weapons
  • Varying degree of resources for security

According to the US Department of Labor, Healthcare workers are 4 times more likely to be assaulted than private sector industry workers.

United States, US Department of Labor, OSHA. (2015, December). Workplace Violence in Healthcare: Understanding the Challenge. Retrieved May 17, 2017, from https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3826.pdf

The ALICE Solution

ALICE empowers unarmed people collectively to save more lives during any violent attack — terrorist attacks, active shooter events, and violence. Rather than waiting passively for the police to arrive, ALICE empowers people. This is achieved by cultivating a survival mindset and instilling confidence in how skills already known can have a great impact on increasing survival with ALICE proactive, options-based training. These ALICE protocols transfer the power from the attacker to the victims and turn everyday actions into life saving measures.

The real first responders must be the people who are on scene when a violent attack begins because 60% of active shooter events are over before law enforcement arrives according to an FBI report.

ALICE Training is delivered through a blended approach of education and practice involving mandatory e-Learning together with Instructor Lead Training provided by ALICE Certified Instructors (ACI). To become an ALICE Certified Instructor, register for a course near you. Please note that the e-Learning course is available immediately after registering and provides the framework for attending the training and participating in the practice drills. The ALICE blended method ensures that attendees have the basic knowledge and preparation required to engage in the practical drill portion. It is an essential part of the ALICE toolbox where the strategies and principles of ALICE are defined and explained. ALICE Certified Instructors (ACIs) rely on the e-Learning to ensure their trainees are prepared.

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The OSHA General Duty Clause: Section 5(a)(1) states that employers are required to provide their employees with a place of employment that “is free from recognizable hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees.” The Courts have interpreted this clause to mean that employers have a legal obligation to provide a workplace free of conditions or activities that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.

Furthermore, the OSHA directive for workplace violence in Healthcare recommends that Healthcare facilities provide training for all workers and that training programs should include role playing, simulations, and drills.

ALICE is in line with recommendations by federal and state government agencies across the US: Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); US Department of Education; State of Alabama; State of Massachusetts; Ohio Attorney General; State of Illinois; State of Minnesota; State of Vermont; among others.

ALICE strategies are the national standard for active shooter and workplace violence training and after 15 years these strategies are now mandated by the federal government for executive branch employees.

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Why training like ALICE is needed and has been adopted by the Federal Government as the standard of care since 2013.

Without a proactive response:

On April 19, 2010 in Knoxville, Tennessee, a male attacker entered the Parkwest Medical Center. The attacker was distressed over his recovery from a surgery and was looking for his doctor. The attacker believed that the doctor implanted a microchip in his body. He could not find his doctor so he moved to the Emergency room and started shooting. One person was killed, and two others wounded before he committed suicide prior to the arrival of the police.

 

With a proactive response:

In Central Florida, a 60 year old male entered the Villages VA outpatient Clinic with an AR-15 rifle. He confronted a doctor who was seeing a patient. Two shots were fired, striking no one, and the attacker was controlled by the doctor, a staff member, and VA police officers.

On that tragic day, there were heroes who stepped up to save others.

  • When confronted with an attack, the doctor and another staff member heroically attempted to disarm the attacker.
  • Two VA police officers also helped to control the attacker.
  • “Thanks to the quick thinking and brave actions of the VA clinic staff and patients to protect themselves and others, a potential tragedy was avoided and lives were saved,” Special Agent Charles P. Spencer of the Jacksonville Division of the FBI said.

The quick response and thinking of the doctor and staff member to control the attacker, and prevent him from using his weapon accurately saved lives that day.