Today's Veterinary Business

OCT 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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Protect & Defend columnist Dr. Ed Branam is veterinary and animal services program manager for Safehold Special Risk Inc. He serves on the American Veterinary Medical Association's Legislative Advisory Committee. safe. They include, but are not limit- ed to, utilizing additional barricade and door-restraint techniques. Refer to a professional training program to learn and practice these techniques. Inform refers to communi- cating your observations by any means possible to authorities and, if you can, to anyone poten- tially in immediate harm's way. The intruder's location and whether the person is armed are the most helpful facts you can provide. When communicating, make sure to use plain language rather than code words, give specific de- tails and avoid specific commands. Remember that solutions are often not one-size-fits-all. Counterstrategies are physical actions you take to interfere with the intruder's mental and physical capabilities to inflict harm on others. In certain situations, counterstrategies could be your best and only action. They should be taken only if you believe that you are in immediate danger and that no other viable option exists. The purpose is to: • Interrupt the intruder's thought process. • Confuse and disorient the intruder. • Prevent or delay aggressive actions by the intruder. Evacuate means to take the opportunity to escape, if possible. Quickly put as much distance as possible between the intruder and yourself. Psychological studies show that people are often reluctant to escape and instead lock down. One objective of profes- sional training programs is to teach each person to make a decision that minimizes the risk of injury. Although fire evacuation routes are typically the preferred way out, keep in mind that these paths might not always be the safest. Two non-traditional options that you should be prepared to utilize based on prevailing conditions and the building's layout are: • Break and exit through a ground-floor window. Win- dows are designed to flex and might be difficult to break. ALICE recommends using a heavy object to strike an upper corner of the pane. • Drop from a second-floor window. Consult with experts to outline the safest way to exit from the second floor. Once You're Outside Everyone should go to a predesig- nated meeting place when they exit the building. In addition, recognize that you likely will encounter law enforcement personnel. Remember that police officers might not be able to identify the intruder. You don't want people to think it's you. When you first encounter law en- forcement on the scene: • Remain calm and follow the officers' instructions. • Put down items you are carry- ing, such as bags and jackets. • Keep both hands visible. • Avoid making quick move- ments toward officers. • Don't point or scream. • Don't ask questions. Regardless of size, every vet- erinary practice needs a response plan. Prevention is the goal, but you must be prepared for the worst. Appropriate training will allow each team member to react faster, make better decisions and increase the odds of mitigating injury. 3 4 5

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