A Letter from Our CEO: Active Shooters Threats

Contact: Tara Carlyle
Strategy & Development Executive
(660) 262-7472

A Letter from Our CEO: Active Shooters Threats

Warrensburg, MO (July 8, 2022)–On Friday, July 8, 2022, Western Missouri Medical Center (WMMC) was evacuated by the Warrensburg Police Department and Johnson County Sherriff’s Department after reports of an active shooter at the main hospital building.

Thankfully all patients and staff were safely escorted off the hospital property, and an all clear was called. No casualties were reported. A further investigation concluded that there was not an active shooter in the building.

This situation ended the best way possible with everyone safe. While we never want to experience this situation, we are grateful to our staff, first responders and community for taking this seriously. There have been 300+ mass shootings in 2022 in the United States and a hospital mass shooting occurred just over a month ago. This is the current state of the world we live in. Our nation is fearful. We are on high alert and are trained to look for situations that could be harmful. Our staff are trained to protect anyone in our facility. With that said, the morning of the potential “Active Shooter” code (the plain language code that The Joint Commission teaches hospitals to use to notify staff of a potential threat) was terrifying to all those that experienced it. We had reasons to believe there was a real threat. The information that was initially provided put our organization on alert. These situations are terrifying and can cause panic, which lead to a report called in by an employee of what was believed to be an active shooter in the building.

Fortunately, that was not the case, but for several hours an entire hospital feared the worst. Employees, visitors, and patients were waiting, for what felt like eternity, to be rescued. They were hiding, barricading themselves, and frantically trying to reach loved ones. Caregivers had to decide how to protect critically ill patients who could not protect themselves. The operating room had to continue surgeries, not knowing what waited on the other side of the door. Nursing staff begged and pleaded to stay in the line of danger to take care of their patients while they were told to be evacuated. That is the reality of healthcare workers, they are trained to protect their patients at all costs. The anguish on their faces and in their voices during these terrifying moments was heartbreaking.

The reality of the situation is everyone in that hospital felt the fear that too many experience across this country. Regardless how this situation ended, our nation should never feel remorse for communicating a potential threat. Too many times a potential threat has gone unnoticed or ignored which could have saved a life. We train our employees to protect their family, to protect one another.

We took action immediately. We take the safety of those in our facility seriously. Additionally, our first responders were swift and courageous. They worked based on the information coming in and protected our hospital. They are heroes. Our employees are heroes. What if this situation had been different? What if your child or loved one were in the building and we let a potential threat go unnoticed and this ended in lives lost?

The point of this letter is that our nation should not apologize for protecting themselves. We should be commending the heroism our healthcare workers, first responders, teachers, employees, and anyone in these circumstances.
These situations will not always end this way. Things don’t always go a planned, but we must continue to stand together and protect one another without fear of being deemed wrong. Without fear of misjudging a situation. Without fear of hurting feelings. We must be vigilant and our nation should commend those who are protecting one another.

Thank you to all those heroes out there who protect each other.

Darinda Dick

About Western Missouri Medical Center
Western Missouri Medical Center (WMMC) is a fully-accredited acute care county medical center located in Warrensburg, MO. WMMC prides itself in emergency care, obstetrics, orthopedic and general surgery, family healthcare, internal medicine, outpatient clinics, ambulatory care, rehabilitation services and more. Inpatient services include medical, surgical, intensive, obstetrical, orthopedic, pediatric and skilled nursing care, as well as a wide range of therapeutic and diagnostic outpatient services. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Learn more at WMMC.com.

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