BURLINGTON — Police Chief Michael Kent and Fire Chief Steve Yetman report that the Burlington Police and Fire Departments conducted active shooter training at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in preparation for the future opening of the hospital’s new emergency department, which was announced earlier this year.
A total of 20 police officers, 20 firefighters and 80 Lahey Health employees participated in the drill, which simulated a realistic response and tactics between first responders and hospital staff in the event of a serious act of violence.
In addition, all participants were able to establish patient safety protocols in case of an active shooter in the hospital and at its new facilities, which are currently under construction.
“We are proud to partner with Lahey Health as it expands its facilities in Burlington,” Chief Kent said. “By preparing for the worst, public safety officials can better protect our partners in healthcare, as well as the community members we all serve.”
The police department conducted two training scenarios involving an armed suspect with Lahey employees. Participants implemented patient lockdown and evacuation procedures and practiced coordinated efforts to respond to injured patients.
The Burlington Rescue Task Force (RTF) was also implemented during the drill. The RTF is a revolutionary partnership between the Burlington Police and Fire Departments that allows an efficient joint response to critical and dangerous incidents. The efforts of the task force allow emergency medical personnel to treat patients in an area that has not been declared safe from threats, by combining police officers and paramedics into one unit. Now a developing public safety trend nationwide, Burlington adopted the joint response last spring, early in RTF’s curriculum.
“Real-life active shooter situations require collaboration between multiple agencies, which is why the RTF has proven so effective thus far,” Chief Yetman said. “I commend our firefighters and police officers for working together to prepare for and respond to emergencies.”