NHRMC Stood Ready if Mass Casualty Incident Had Occurred

November 09, 2018
JB Incident

On Friday morning, reports suggested that Topsail High School had an active shooter situation. This turned out to be a false alarm, but NHRMC was prepared to handle a mass casualty.

As the nearest Level II Trauma Center, NHRMC would likely have received the most severe traumas, and ED North and Orthopedic Hospital could have received some of the patients.

Many of our surgeons were standing by to help, as well as nurses and other clinical staff who were held over from their night shifts, and many NHRMC employees volunteered to come in to work and help however they could. Our EMS teams, AirLink and VitaLink and Hospital Police had already begun preparations.

NHRMC’s significant progress with patient flow and throughput put us in the best possible position should a real mass casualty event have developed. On Friday, NHRMC had sufficient beds available to handle an influx of patients.

Sarah Brannan, Administrator of Operations, is one of the key leaders of flow and throughput for the organization.  “Our staff have been dedicated to the processes and standard work we have put in place,” she said. “And because of that, we were prepared for the worst-case scenario.”

NHRMC has been operating very efficiently all this week.  The trend started Sunday, when more than 100 patients were discharged that day. Also, we increased capacity by opening our 14 bed Observation unit on Monday. The leaders, staff, and physicians have continued to follow procedures and safely discharge patients earlier in the day when possible to free up beds for other admitted patients.

“I am so proud of the entire team” said Andre Boyd, Chief Operating Officer.  “The dedication and hard work of our flow and throughput teams have put us in a good position this entire week."

“The discipline of the last 10 days is what made us ready,” said Dr. Philip Brown, Chief Physician Executive. “That’s what gave us the chance to save every life that could have been saved.”

“Today, we can be thankful that there was no tragedy and that our services were not needed. But we can move forward more confident than ever that we are prepared to handle such an event in the future,” said John Gizdic, President and CEO.  “I am so honored to be the leader of an organization of outstanding employees that are always prepared to take care of our community!”


Pictured: James Bryant, Administrator of Emergency Services, reviews the steps NHRMC had taken to prepare for the potential mass casualty.