PeaceHealth to conduct review after false active shooter alert

Vancouver, Wash.-based PeaceHealth said it will conduct a review after a technical error resulted in a false active shooter alert.

The alert was sent regarding an incident Oct. 30 at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, Ore.

At 8:21 p.m., the Springfield Police Department was notified of "text alerts" sent to hospital employees through their internal emergency notification system, police said in a news release.

"Several alerts had been sent in close proximity that initially notified staff of an 'active shooter' situation, followed by a series of decreased level alerts," the release states.

Police said the alleged "active aggressor" suspect had been escorted out of the hospital before the initial "active aggressor" alert went out to staff.

"The suspect was located at an establishment away from the hospital campus and complied with SPD Officers," police said. "The suspect was found to be unarmed, in addition to not having been armed during the initial interaction with hospital security. Officers remained at the hospital for several hours in order to determine the root of the alerts and any miscommunication during the incident."

Police charged the unidentified suspect with second-degree disorderly conduct due to earlier interactions with hospital security staff.

PeaceHealth issued a statement indicating it is reviewing the situation.

"Security responded rapidly to an incident on Sunday, Oct. 30, using our Everbridge emergency notification system to alert caregivers to an active aggressor at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend," the statement reads. "The safety of our caregivers and patients is our utmost priority, and emergency alerts help provide awareness of potential threats. After this initial alert, a technical error resulted in a false active shooter alert in the subject line of an email. The error was quickly rectified, and an all-clear message was distributed when the incident was resolved. PeaceHealth is conducting a review in order to refine and improve processes for similar situations."

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