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Active-shooter drills at Mayo in La Crosse have changed over the years

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Four died Monday afternoon after when a man opened fire at Chicago’s Mercy Hospital.

And, it’s been 19 years since the Columbine shooting. In that time, several changes have been made in how people should react to active-shooter situations.

In La Crosse, staff training occurs regularly at Mayo Health System, teaching employees how to respond to an active-shooter scenario.

“We really just advanced our training,” Mayo safety director Allison Papenfuss said. “We’ve gotten more away from paper training and more to tabletop drills, and actively talking about how to run, hide and fight and how to help our staff feel comfortable in making the decision that’s most appropriate for them.”

As far as protocol with the patients, Papenfuss said it’s less defined.

“We talk with our staff on how best they can communicate that to our patients,” she said, “but its ultimately the staff members’ decision on how they’ll respond to the event  whether or not they can run hide fight, how they can best protect themselves, their patients, since every situation is different.”

Papenfuss added that the Chicago hospital shooting proves that training is a valuable tool.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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