Early Sunday morning began like a typical day for the corporate call center. Our staffing consisted of 3 operators, including a more experienced lead operator. As the morning progressed, the lead operator was not feeling well and went home early, leaving only two operators. 

  • 2:00 am -- The local fire department contacted the operators through the “Fire” phone in the call center and informed them there was an active shooting in the area. The operators transferred the call to the charge nurse in the ORMC Emergency Department, which was standard procedure.
  • 2:14 am -- The emergency code line rang and the operators were instructed to send out the code “Trauma Now,” which alerts our trauma team to immediately respond to the ED.
  • 3:00 am -- Operators were instructed to send out an “All Page,” which goes to approximately 3,000 pagers, and a global email with the message ”Mass Casualtywith up to 20 patients.”
  • 3:20 am -- Operators were contacted by the patient care coordinator (PCC) and informed the “All Page” did not go out to all the pagers. The operators resent the message using the same process.
  • 3:33 am -- The operators sent the original message using the wrong procedure. They realized there was an issue and contacted an off-site supervisor for instructions and resent the message correctly to include all the pagers.
  • 3:45 am -- Operators were instructed by the PCC to send out a “Code Silver,” the code for an active shooter in the building.
  • 4:00 am -- The PCC instructed the operators to send out the “Code Silver” all clear message, which means the active shooter situation was over. When the operators sent out the message, they were immediately contacted by security and informed it was not all clear and to leave it active. (The belief of an active shooter inside the building was later determined to be inaccurate.)
  • 5:11 am -- Operators were instructed to send out an “All Page,” announcing ORMC was on lock-down. This was the last call the operators received requesting alerts to be sent.

After these initial actions, the hospital operators received high call volume from team members, media and concerned family members looking for information. Additional operators were brought in to help address the large volume of calls. Later on Sunday morning, the hospital set up a hotline for families who were looking for information about victims, and this enabled the operators to quickly transfer the calls to those who could help answer their questions.