Written by Justin Andrews, Multimedia Reporter - bio | email
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -
If you passed by Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids Wednesday night you may have noticed a heavy ambulance and police presence.
The hospital staff along with law enforcement, emergency responders and other community partners conducted a drill to help better prepare for emergencies, like an active shooter.
"We hear about them on the news all the time, so we're eager to participate and be well prepared for all kinds of different scenarios," said Timothy Quinn chief of clinical operations at Mercy.
Although it was just a drill, what happened could hit home at any moment. With the recent mass shootings spanning across the country, hospital personnel and law enforcement want to make sure they're prepared.
"So it's an opportunity for us to take a real scenario that's in the headlines right now and apply it" said Greg Buelow of the Cedar Rapids Fire Department.
The drill included about 70 victims with varying degrees of causalities ranging from minor injuries to fatalities.
"[It's a] very complex very high tension situation, but they become normal for us because we do the again and again in a drill like fashion," said Quinn. "So it really fits well into the way we practice medicine."
Not far from Mercy, two University of Iowa professors held an open forum to address guns and mental illness.
"In these mass shootings there are people that are either getting treatment or have been diagnosed with psychiatric illness, or the suspicion that their may well be psychiatric illness," said UI psychiatric professor James Potash, MD.
With the recent mass shootings on the minds of many, they're are raising concern for gun control and ways to keep guns from people with mental illnesses, but responders want to make sure you're safe.
"Do the greatest good for the greatest number of people," said Buelow. "How do we make sure we give people the best chance of surviving if they have a serious injury."
Law enforcement's main objective in initial response for situations like having an active shooter is to neutralized the threat.
If you are every inside a place where there is an active shooter, law enforcement urge that you follow their commands.
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