Conway Regional to host emergency drill April 28

Conway Regional Health System will host an emergency response drill 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, April 28, from within and near the Outpatient Surgery Center, Building 3. 

The drill will include emergency personnel from the Conway Fire Department, Conway Police Department, Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office, MEMS, Air Evac Life Team, UCA Police Department and others. These personnel will be visible on the Conway Regional campus during the morning hours.

The drill will create a scenario in which an active shooter invades the Conway Regional Emergency Department. The majority of the drill is expected to take place inside the Surgery Center.

While the Surgery Center is closed to patients and visitors on Saturdays, the adjoining Women’s Center, Medical Center and Emergency Department will remain open during the drill.

“We will be communicating throughout the process to our staff, physicians, visitors and neighbors to reassure them that there is no actual danger. This is only a drill,” said Michael Henry, RN, trauma coordinator. “This is part of Conway Regional’s ongoing efforts to improve our readiness for crisis situations.”

He added, “We believe this is particularly important in light of the increasing number of active aggressor events nationally. We understand that a similar incident could affect our staff and patients in the Emergency Department, and this drill will help us get ready.”

“There are a lot of factors that will come into play during the drill, including protecting and treating our staff during the incident and guarding the safety of our patients and visitors,” added Eric Kindsfater, director of safety, security and telecommunications.

Emergency responders will evaluate different aspects of how they would handle the crisis. 

“Active aggressor incidents have become far too familiar across our country. One thing law enforcement has learned is during each incident that occurs, everybody in that community is affected and will have a part in the process,” said Major Chris Harris, patrol division commander for the Conway Police Department. “A lot of people do not realize how many violent incidents occur at hospitals each year throughout the country. When the staff at Conway Regional invited us to participate, we were more than happy to be a part of their drill.”

The drill may include the landing of emergency transport helicopters at a nearby practice stadium at the University of Central Arkansas at Conway. The drill will also test Conway Regional’s Incident Command Center protocols and will include staff from numerous hospital departments.