An active shooter in a hospital is a terrifying scenario.
That's why hundreds of area health care providers received specialized training at a program at Oglebay Park.
They say when there's an active shooter in a hospital, it's not like in a school where the goal is to get everyone out of the building.
Hospital patients can't leave the building.
So the employees have to protect them.
"Sometimes they may have to barricade themselves and their patients in a room," said Dave Benson of the Center for Personal Protection and Safety. "They may have to throw things. They may have to move people around."
Health care providers from Wheeling Hospital, OVMC, Wetzel County, Reynolds Memorial and Weirton Medical Center, along with fire and EMS personnel learned how to look for warning signs, and how to trust their first impressions."
"Folks spend an awful lot of precious time trying to figure out if they really heard gunshots or not, and wondering what's really going on, second guessing themselves," said Benson. "You need to believe what you see and hear."
They learned to spread out, not clump together because that provides an easier target.
And they learned to use whatever is at hand as a weapon, whether it's a tape dispenser or a fire extinguisher.
They said the day-long training was not meant to be a one-time event.
"It's one of these skills that's perishable and you need to refresh," explained Benson. "It evolves with every event, and sadly, we learn more and we do better at providing response strategies."
They say being trained gives you a significant advantage in the case of an active shooter, when every second counts.