By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) reported today that operations are back to normal after the tragic San Bernardino mass shooting, and that the six patients admitted from the incident have been discharged. New security procedures have been added to the facility’s standard protocol for the continued ongoing safety of patients, visitors, and employees.
ARMC’s response teams in the emergency room deployed their disaster preparedness training on Dec. 2 to treat victims of the terrorist attack. The hospital’s Incident Command Center worked with law enforcement, county officials, Inland Counties Emergency Medical Agency (ICEMA), and other key partners to ensure safe and timely access to the ER and trauma bays. There were several physicians for each patient admitted, while SWAT and other law enforcement were positioned around the 70-acre facility.
ARMC was immediately engaged in responding to the shooting. Dr. Michael Neeki, an emergency physician at ARMC, a level II trauma center, responded to the Inland Regional Center scene and helped clear rooms at the location. Dr. Neeki’s Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) training enables him to work with SWAT in life-threatening situations. In addition, several of Dr. Neeki’s medical residents on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) rotation ran the patient triage center at the scene. Other responders included ARMC’s Chief of Surgery, Dr. Dev GnanaDev, and Emergency Medicine Physician, Dr. Sakona Seng.
“From the front-line response doctors and nurses to our entire team responding to the crisis, we commend their commitment and ability in managing the influx of the victims while employing their training for crisis situations,” said William Gilbert, ARMC CEO. “Our ER doctors, nurses, and other staff are trained to work in critical life-saving situations, as well as disaster-related circumstances, and they came together professionally, efficiently and passionately at this time.”
Following the last patient discharged on Dec. 7, county officials, including San Bernardino County Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales and Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford, along with Rep. Pete Aguilar (31st Congressional District), visited ARMC to meet with hospital officials, doctors, and staff for a debriefing. Debriefing sessions and counseling were also provided to ARMC employees.
Prior to the San Bernardino shooting, the hospital had routine security staff manning public entrances. On the day of the incident the facility underwent lockdown under the Colton Police Department’s authority. The police department provided tactical coverage of the facility campus, and ensured efficient passage of ambulance traffic to the facility from the incident location. Following the event, ARMC has implemented additional security measures to ensure the ongoing safety of patients, visitors, and employees.
In addition to ARMC increasing security measures, San Bernardino County government offices as a whole have heightened security. And, as the largest county in the contiguous United States, the county’s Board of Supervisors and public health officials have also come together to address community safety.
ARMC utilized Twitter to quickly disseminate information related to the hospital’s involvement in the tragedy, as well as to provide status updates on patients admitted to the hospital. Media is encouraged to follow ARMC on Twitter at @ArrowheadRMC for important announcements and updates, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arrowheadregional.
About Arrowhead Regional Medical Center
ARMC is a 456-bed university-affiliated teaching hospital located on a 70-acre campus in Colton, California, and is a designated Level II trauma center. ARMC operates a regional burn center, primary stroke center, a behavioral health center, four primary care centers including three family health centers, and provides more than 40 outpatient specialty care services. ARMC is helping to achieve the Countywide Vision by addressing the community’s wellness and educational needs. For more information on the Countywide Vision, visit: www.sbcounty.gov/vision. ARMC is located at 400 N. Pepper Avenue in Colton.