Early Sunday around 3:00 am, my cell phone went off with an extra loud alert that is specifically programmed for emergency messages from the hospital operators. When these messages go off, I know it’s either a hospital drill or a critical message. I assumed given the time of day it was not a drill. But I was shocked when I read it was a Mass Casualty code due to an off-site shooting with more than 20 victims. It’s not unusual for emergency messages to be sent out, but to see one with this many known shooting victims was definitely a shock.
I immediately turned on the television and computer to see if any additional details were available, while I began contacting the hospital operators and key managers in other areas I oversee. As I began gathering information, I received a call from our chief operating officer for Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC). Although he didn’t need anything specifically from me at the time, he wanted to make sure I was there if needed. Having known him for years, I could tell from the sound of his voice this was bad.