SPOKANE, Wash.—Extensive training helped staff members secure Deaconess and get patients to a safe place when a man opened fire at the nearby Cancer Treatment Center Tuesday.
Authorities said the threat was isolated on the seventh floor of the Cancer Treatment Center at the medical center. An employee’s husband reportedly opened fire, shooting and killing her before turning the gun on himself.
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There were hundreds of people in the busy medical center at 9:30 a.m. when shots were fired.
Deaconess trained its staff members to respond to this kind of emergency using a “Code Silver” protocol according to leaders at the medical center.
Witnesses said hospital security officers were the first to alert them that there was a problem.
“I was on the third floor and I had just checked in, and a security guard came in and said 'we have a Code Silver',” said one patient who asked to remain anonymous.
Staff members helped direct that patient and others through the frightening situation. She said she felt like she was in good hands. Staff members reportedly moved patients into small rooms, with one or two other people. They said authorities came to each room and updated them frequently on what was going on.
“Everything was occurring, and it was really clear they'd practiced this and they were moving with confidence,” she said.
First responders said Deaconess staff members were also critical in helping officers get to where they needed to go.
“Extremely effective in making sure we were able to get to the scene the quickest way, without causing any concern from any other floor, or any of the other patients,” explained Brian Schaeffer with the Spokane Fire Department.