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Quick response at local hospitals

By Staff
SHOCKED Two unidentified family members of Lockheed Martin employees display their emotions after learning that a gunman went on a shooting rampage Tuesday, killing five co-workers before killing himself. Nine others were treated at Meridian hospitals with gunshot wounds. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
July 9, 2003
Shortly after a lone gunman opened fire Tuesday at the Lockheed Martin plant, Meridian's three major hospitals jumped into crisis mode.
Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center, Riley Hospital and Rush Foundation Hospital all received and treated shooting victims.
After the news broke, a group of people flocked to Riley's emergency room anxious for the latest developments. At Jeff Anderson, a man carrying coolers of blood from United Blood Services rushed in shortly after ambulances brought victims.
Spokespersons from all three hospitals said their trauma alert plans ran smoothly.
Jim Rush, director of safety for Rush, said the hospital's emergency room was well prepared to care for the casualties. The condition of patients at Rush ranged from stable to critical on Tuesday.
Anderson received three victims, one of whom was treated and released and two who were admitted; the condition of the two patients was unavailable on Tuesday.
At Riley, three victims were received, each in stable condition. Two of them were discharged Tuesday afternoon.
At Anderson, safety director Butch Shannon said much of the trauma alert plan was initiated after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He also said a recent mock disaster drill at Naval Air Station Meridian also helped.
The three hospitals were notified of the shootings by law enforcement, Shannon said. Metro Ambulance sent victims to all of the hospitals to prevent one from being overloaded, he said.
He said part of a community-wide mass casualty plan in the works among the hospitals includes ways for the local medical community to handle as many as 300-500 casualties at one time.