In late June, employees and volunteers took part in a mock Code Silver exercise on 14 South at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Code Silver is a planned response to an active shooter event that helps ensure the safety of our patients and visitors, employees at clinical teams at Sinai Health when an individual is in possession of a firearm and an enhanced police response is required. Code Silver should be called if there is a threat, attempt, or active use of a firearm to cause harm.

Over the course of approximately one hour, organizers and participants ran through several scenarios and drills. Employees, volunteers, support services, nursing students, and even a few family members and visitors participated in the exercise. Over the course of the drill, staff ran through three rapidly progressing active shooter scenarios that allowed them to develop an appropriate response best suited for them in their unit. Participants worked on early identification of a potential situation, calling 5555 to activate a Code Silver, organizing themselves while responding during simulated gunfire, and even role played how they would barricade themselves in a room. As the team rapidly progressed through each drill, they performed better than the drill before and by the end of the exercise, everyone had become more efficient and really began to demonstrate confidence in their understanding of what they could do to remain safe. Each member of the team did a fantastic job.

“Code Silver can be a very difficult thing to talk about,” says Paul Nicholson, Security & Emergency Procedures. “But seeing everyone on the unit gather together, prepare, get involved, and commit time to practicing how they would respond  to such a horrible situation really speaks to the dedication and passion everyone has for providing quality patient care while keeping everyone safe.”

Sinai Health is committed to making emergency preparedness an engaging, progressive learning experience, and will continue to conduct similar exercises in the near future.

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