Hospital Active Shooter (Code Silver) Plan

June 8, 2022

High contrast image of a man holding a gun against a brightly lit background

Active shooter incidents have become more frequent over time, so it is crucial that your Hospital has an active shooter (code silver) plan in place to ensure the safety of all health care workers, patients, and visitors at the hospital when an individual is in possession of a weapon. 

When there is an active shooter present in your vicinity, you generally have three options:

  1. RUN: If you have the ability and a clear path towards an exit, you should run. Leave any belongings behind and try to lead as many people to safety as possible. 
  • If you are with a patient who is not mobile, you should save yourself so that you can come back and take care of the injured personnel after shooting. 
  • Do not stop for victims, get to an exit and move to a safe distance from the building. If law enforcement is there keep your hands in the air and follow their instructions, if they are not there call 911 and security. 
  1. HIDE: If you can not run, or are trapped inside a room when the shooter is in the hallway, it is time to hide. Block the entryway into your room with furniture, turn off the lights, and silence any mobile devices.
  2. FIGHT: If you can not run or hide, and you are in imminent danger, you may have to fight to survive. Try to incapacitate the shooter, and if there are multiple able people with you, fight together and act as aggressively as possible. Use what is around you as a makeshift weapon.

Thinking about what to do when there is an active shooter present in your hospital may be uncomfortable, but having a plan and mental map of the building can save your life. Think about how you can encourage staff to start thinking more proactively about Code Silver situations by sharing things like the RUN. HIDE. FIGHT.  video produced by Rush University, or the CODE SILVER policy example created by Ontario Hospital Association. For more information about improving security measures at your hospital, contact us at (210) 495-1950.