Local Connecticut hospital responds to school shooting via social media

The hospital, where some victims were transported, has reached out and provided timely information on its website and through its Twitter and Facebook presences as the heartbreaking crisis unfoldeded.


Imagine Googling your hospital and then seeing the word “shooting” pop up after it.

That’s what happened on Friday, Dec. 14 if you searched for “Danbury Connecticut hospital.”

Three people from the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Conn., were transported to Danbury Hospital.

Communicators at the hospital were swamped with media phone calls, but Ragan’s Health Care Communication News was able to briefly chat with PR specialist Diane Burke on Friday.

“Everything is happening at rapid pace,” Burke says. “We’re trying to update everything as soon as we get the newest information, every 15 minutes or so.”

Currently, Burke and her team are relying on its social media guidelines to deal with the crisis and share news on its social media channels.

The website had a breaking news banner at the top of its home page. It read:

Our hearts and prayers are extended to everyone involved in this terrible tragedy. To date, three patients have been transported to Danbury Hospital from the scene. The Connecticut State Police or the Newtown Police Department can provide further information.

The official Danbury Twitter feed can be viewed here. In addition, Burke maintains her own Twitter feed, which consists mostly of hospital news.

Of the two, Burke’s feed is the most up to date with news about the crisis. Here are some examples:

Our hearts and prayers are extended to everyone involved in this terrible tragedy. To date, three patients have… http://fb.me/2lf6pLaWW

We are here to care for any victims and their families in any way they need us. Our hearts and prayers are… http://fb.me/1nKKzMGKQ

We are aware of a situation that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Please know we’re collecting facts… http://fb.me/2id8NSEMK

Posts about the shooting on its Facebook page have received hundreds of comments and “likes.” For example, this post received more than 540 “likes.” Take a look:

We are here to care for any victims and their families in any way they need us. Our hearts and prayers are extended to anyone involved in this terrible tragedy. To date, three patients have been transported to Danbury Hospital from the scene.

Out of abundance of caution and not because of any direct threat Danbury Hospital is under lockdown. This allows us simply to focus on the important work at hand.

We will keep you apprised of any additional information as details are confirmed.

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