Beebe Healthcare Holds Active Shooter Exercise December 12

· The Medical Center will continue to operate as normal and patient care will not be affected  

Beebe Healthcare will hold an active shooter exercise at its Medical Center in Lewes on Thursday, December 12. The exercise, to begin at noon, is a collaboration between state, county and local agencies, including Delaware State Police, Lewes Police and Fire departments and Sussex County Emergency personnel.  

“This is an extremely important exercise for the hospital and its police, fire, EMS and 911 center partners," says Cheryl Littlefield, RN, CHEP, Emergency Management Coordinator for Beebe Healthcare. “It will give all of our emergency response partners in our area the opportunity to work together to prepare for an active shooter situation. We know that this kind of emergency has been happening around the country, and could happen here." 

The exercise, which has been in planning stages for months, may appear to be a real event to onlookers as police, fire and others respond to the activity in the hospital. Helicopters will be flying overhead and emergency vehicles will be converging on the medical center.   

A real situation in which a shooter would be inside the hospital is different from many weather-related emergencies, such as hurricanes and snowstorms, because the hospital would have to turn away patients that would otherwise be going to the Emergency Department seeking care. Because patients would have to be taken elsewhere, the exercise will give emergency personnel, including those helicopters that serve the area, the opportunity to practice these diversion protocols together.  

During the exercise, the medical center will continue to operate as normal and patient care will not be affected. People who are nearby the medical center may also notice an increase in noise as an unusual number of helicopters take off and land.  

Those partner agencies participating are:

Delaware State Police

Delaware State Police Aviation

Delaware State Police Victims’ Advocates

Sussex County Paramedics

LifeNet Helicopter

Lewes Fire Department

Lewes Police Department

Sussex County Emergency Operations Center  

Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. It offers services throughout Southern Delaware including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities at multiple sites providing lab, imaging, physical rehab services and walk-in care. For more information, please visit us online at