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Archive September 2019 XX, No. 9

Ideas That Work: Safe Rooms

Show Staff Where to Hide From Active Shooters

Bryan Mehalick, RN, BS
HIDING SPOT St. Luke's placed easy-to-spot signs above rooms where staff can shelter in place.

How will you protect your staff if there's an active shooter in your facility? We've trained our staff using the FBI-endorsed Run, Hide, Fight protocol. It staff can't safely evacuate the facility, they're instructed to shelter in place in areas we've designated as safe rooms. We identified several safe rooms — they have lockable doors, contain equipment and shelving that can be used as blockades, and feature windowless walls or windows with shades that can be drawn — and placed signs above the doors so staff can easily recognize where to go when they're trying to escape an active shooter. The 3D signs can be spotted from several angles and feature the Bethlehem Star, the symbol of our health system. The star doesn't publicize that rooms are areas of refuge, but staff know to look for it when their lives depend on quickly finding a place to hide.

Bryan Mehalick, RN, BS
St. Luke's University
Health Network
Bethlehem, Pa.

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