Monday’s shooting outside the orthopedic building Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage happened quickly.
Frank McDonell a patient who was there when a man opened fire says the staff responded just as fast, “Pretty scary when I was just opening the door and she came running out at me and said don’t go outside there’s a shooter outside.”
Patients were whisked away by staff to a secure building to shelter in place.
Elizabeth Wholihan, the marketing and public relations vice president with Eisenhower Health says no one can predict when emergencies like these will happen but their staffed stepped up, “Everyone knew how to react in the moment that was challenging, unexpected and shocking.”
While they cannot speak about specifics of this case because of the investigation, she says staff follows homeland security protocols in emergency situations and they train year round for the unexpected, “We do drills for all kinds of all different scenarios you want to know that your staff have thought about the possibilities and doing that really makes people think well in the moment because they have it the back of their minds, I‘ve done this before, I‘ve drilled for this.”
The suspected gunman identified by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department as Stephen Kaylor of Indio was killed, she says the situation is tragic, “As scared as they were about the circumstances of that situation, at the end of the day someone had died and that’s still very upsetting.”
But she says it could have been worse had it not been for their training and the quick response of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, “We’re so grateful that nothing worse happened on Monday, that no patients, or employees, or physicians, or volunteers, or visitors were hurt, it is remarkable.”
Wholihan also says they have a system in place that allows them to communicate with the county, law enforcement, and local hospitals immediately to coordinate large scale emergencies like earthquakes and these situations stress the importance of their training.