HonorHealth, a leading Valley healthcare system serving 1.6 million people in the greater Phoenix area, partnered with multiple law enforcement agencies, medical emergency services and other organizations to coordinate the largest full-scale emergency response drill in HonorHealth’s history, Thursday, Aug. 8.

With more than 80 participants, volunteers and support personnel, the comprehensive training exercise demonstrated active response capabilities, coordination and communications during mass shooting emergency situations, while identifying factors that may hinder successful coordination between agencies in the future. 

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“Sadly, violent attacks and related mass casualty events continue across our country.  These events underscore the need for first responders, emergency medical personnel and hospital systems to provide immediate lifesaving measures and care for our communities,” said HonorHealth Associate Vice President of Workplace and Public Safety Todd Larson.  “Today’s training was a collaborative effort between HonorHealth and our community partners to ensure we can collectively save lives.”

Approximately 60 volunteers took part as “victims” in the mass shooting scenarios. The “victims” were treated by various EMS entities and transported to five Valley HonorHealth hospitals, where hospital staff, nurses and doctors engaged in high-stress simulations that included multiple patient surges, blood shortages and the presence of possible toxic chemical agents.

A team of outside surveyors evaluated the simulations and critiqued the entire process, identifying areas where integrated planning and emergency preparedness may be improved – from the communications and logistics network response to the critical care procedures and family re-unification.

The coordinated efforts of the multi-agency emergency response exercise brought together the City of Phoenix, Scottsdale Police Department, Scottsdale Fire Department, Salt River Police Department, Phoenix Police Department, Maricopa EMS, Daisy Mountain Fire and Medical, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Priority Ambulance, American Medical Response (AMR) and Aspen University and others.

“We just truly appreciate HonorHealth and the partnership they have with us in making our community and our officers safer,” Detective Dan Greene of the Scottsdale Police Department said.