Active shooter drill held at WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) Staff at WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center made the effort to advise incoming patrons and patients that what they were seeing was not an actual emergency.

"You're with the best group you could be with right now, the cops and everybody," Director of Security Chris Miller told people getting on an elevator Friday morning along with staff and Wood County Sheriff's deputies.

The "active shooter" in the exercise was, in reality, a hospital employee wearing a black toboggan (to distinguish himself from the other participants) and, not a gun, but a blue light.

The scene was played out at both the hospital's north and south towers.
And it's something they do at least once a year.

"We can continue to do staff education; we can continue to do education with our staff here at the hospital to make sure we secure all of our entrances, we're tracking people appropriately," Miller says. "We're just making sure every aspect is covered, the best we can."

And, by coincidence, it comes one day after businesses throughout the country, including WTAP, were the targets of bomb threats. That comes about a year after the hospital had to deal with a threat of its own.

"With local law enforcement and their resources like bomb-sniffing dogs," Miller recalls, "we were able to search the facility and figure out it was a non-threat situation, and resume business as normal."

The hospital is different than businesses and even many public buildings, which close down part of the time. They're open and accessible 24 hours a day.

The mission is to halt, and perhaps prevent, an active shooter emergency, without disrupting operations.