GE Energy stages active shooter incident
November 13, 2012
It’s an awful situation no business wants to be in or even talk about. But it happens with alarming frequency. A disturbed individual opens fire in the workplace.“Being one of the largest employers in Douglas County, we feel we have a significant duty to help protect not only our employees but our community in times of crisis,” Art Eunson, Bently Nevada general manager, said in a press release. On Thursday morning, GE Energy in Minden staged a workplace violence drill with an active shooter. At 9:15 a.m., rescue personnel responded to the scene, including Douglas County SWAT.GE Community Specialist Holly Spiers had to interact with The Record-Courier throughout the mock crisis. She issued frequent updates and provided a contact in the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, who later issued a joint press release. By 9:30 a.m., more than 750 employees had been evacuated from the facility on Bently Parkway, except five who were unaccounted for. Less than 10 minutes later, emergency tones went out for six patients with traumatic injuries. Two helicopters were staged for response, and one actually landed at the scene.“This morning we had a shooter in the building. The shooter has been accounted for, and the building is secured. We are aware that there are some injuries, and people are being attended to by medical responders. All other employees have been accounted for and will be sent home,” Spiers said in an update.The GE Crisis Management Team, comprised of employees, focused on “communications, employee welfare and well-being, and business continuity” during the event.“Our team was happy to partner with our local agencies to test our plans and processes in the most effective way,” said Eunson. “This experience was a terrific opportunity for us to see where our systems work and where we have some additional work to do.”GE employees and first responders discovered new ways to improve communications and response plans, the company said. “By holding drills such as this, we hope to better prepare ourselves and assist those with the important job of protecting our safety and health in their work in situations such as these,” Eunson said. Participating agencies included the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, East Fork Fire & Paramedic District, the FBI and Careflight.