Terrebonne General Medical Center was the site of what could have been a scary scene Thursday morning.

Fortunately, the active-shooter scenario that was played out by hospital staff members and local and state law enforcement officers was just a drill.

There was no shooter. But in the event there ever is one, the folks at the hospital and first responders will be better prepared for how to handle it.

No one wants to consider the possibility that the unthinkable could occur. But it can.

In troublingly common incidents, places such as malls, schools or churches can almost instantly transform into a nightmare playing out in real life.

Although it is unpleasant to envision such a scene taking place here, it is much better for our emergency workers to be overly prepared for something that never happens than unprepared for something that could.

“We’ve had active shooters across the nation in churches, concerts, schools and the workplace,” said Houma Police Chief Dana Coleman said. “I support Terrebonne General as well as all of the stakeholders in this exercise. I support them 100 percent, because you don’t want something like this to take place, but it’s best to prepare in case it does happen.”

The hospital said it reached out to the first responders and organized the drill because it wants to make sure its patients and workers are as safe and prepared as possible if such an incident ever unfolds locally.

And that is the smart way to look at the possibility.

We all know on a personal level what it’s like to prepare as well as we can each year for the looming hurricane season, all the while hoping that every bit of getting ready is never needed.

That is the same thought at play here. Hospital officials know that the chances are remote that an active-shooter situation will play out in its halls. But there is absolutely nothing lost in preparing, while failing to prepare could exact a heavy toll in a worst-case scenario.

Coleman invited local groups to organize similar training events that will familiarize their workers with the practices that are most likely to keep them safe in the face of an armed attack.

This isn’t hysteria; it is simply preparing for the worst while hoping for the best.

It makes good sense.


Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.