Active-shooter drills held at Meritus Medical Center

Meritus Medical Center was the site of two planned training exercises Friday for protocols in the event of an active shooter on the hospital’s campus and the no-notice medical surge of patients that would follow.

The hospital and several community partners, including the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Division of Emergency Services, Maryland State Police and the Hagerstown Police Department, spent five months planning the exercises, according to a news release.

Social-media messages were posted at 8 a.m. Friday by all partner agencies to alert media and the public that the event was only a drill and the Meritus Medical Center/Robinwood Professional Center campus was still open for business.

“The safety of our employees, patients and visitors to the hospital campus has always been a top priority and drills like today’s are vital to keep staff educated and trained on emergency procedures,” Katie Salesky, emergency management specialist for Meritus Health, said in the release. “Coordinated exercises like this allow us to test our processes and staff response and practice maintaining our continuity of operations, so we can continue to provide quality care during an emergency.”

The two exercises lasted approximately two and a half hours in total.

— Alexis Fitzpatrick