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Santa Cruz shooting hoax triggers hospital’s emergency plan

<i>KSBW</i><br/>Before anyone knew the 911 call warning police of an active shooter at Santa Cruz High School was a hoax
KSBW
KSBW
Before anyone knew the 911 call warning police of an active shooter at Santa Cruz High School was a hoax

By Felix Cortez

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    SANTA CRUZ, California (KSBW) — Before anyone knew the 911 call warning police of an active shooter at Santa Cruz High School was a hoax, Dominican Hospital activated its external disaster plan to prepare for the arrival of potential victims.

The fake emergency call came in around 9:30 a.m. Thursday and shortly after Dominican Hospital received its own call from the county emergency medical system.

“Alerting us that there may be an active shooter and that there might be some injuries and so we should prepare,” said Dr. Nanette Mickiewicz, Dominican Hospital’s president and chief executive officer.

Within minutes, the hospital activated its emergency plan that sent more than a hundred doctors, nurses and other staff outside the hospital to prepare for the arrival of potential victims.

“We had a center in front of the emergency department, we had the emergency department in back of the emergency department, as well as resources that came from the operating room,” said Mickiewicz. “Nurses and doctors came from all throughout the hospital as well as the community.”

The hospital set up an emergency triage outside that included gurneys and an extra blood supply. People were told to stay away from the hospital and scheduled surgeries were put on hold.

“We were able to get our emergency rooms started and ready, as well as prepare our operating rooms, discontinue surgeries that had not started yet, and put them on hold so that we would have enough operating rooms to respond in the event that someone arrived for our care,” said Mickiewicz.

The hospital even prepared for a worst-case scenario.

“We had chaplains that were available and social workers. We were geared up in the event that there were going to be community members who needed to be supported,” Mickiewicz said.

An hour into the emergency activation the hospital was told to stand down after the active shooter incident was determined to be a hoax; a relief to hospital staff and school leaders who practice for this with the hope it never becomes reality.

“We’re grateful this was a practice day and that there is no one hurt there are no injuries and the protocols that we have in place worked,” said Kris Munro, Santa Cruz City Schools Superintendent.

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