Police in Istanbul yesterday defused a situation that could have turned deadly when a patient at a hospital threatened to shoot himself and others, BBC news reported. The incident underscores the need for health care facilities to be prepared for the threat of an active shooter, a topic I reported on in the current issue of NFPA Journal ("Perspectives," January/February 2017).
For the piece, "Wide Open," I conducted a Q&A with Michael Marturano, safety officer for a health care system in Minnesota. In the interview, Marturano, who has led active shooter trainings for health care workers at more than a dozen facilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin, discussed why it's important for health care facilities to be prepared for these kinds of incidents, as well as the challenges presented in keeping facilities both fire safe and prepared for active shooter situations.
No injuries resulted from the incident that took place in Turkey yesterday. The psychiatric hospital was evacuated as police negotiated with the gunman, who was identified as a young police officer who has been receiving treatment at the facility for two years. The man was not allowed to carry a gun, according to a doctor at the hospital, and it is unclear how he obtained the firearm used in the incident.
Similar situations have not ended as peacefully. In 2015, for example, a former Army soldier shot and killed a psychologist at a Texas veterans' hospital before turning the gun on himself.