Image Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Nearly everyone has seen the horrible news about the shootings at a movie theater in suburban Denver yesterday morning. As some of you know, I'm an ER doc here in the Denver area, so I've had a lot of people asking how things are going. I thought I'd put up a quick note with my thoughts, because they also relate to some other awful and surreal events we saw with the recent wildfires here and with our fellow Bruins Lacy Westbrook and Nick Ekbatani this week.
I work at one of the Level 1 Trauma Centers and our hospital got 4 of the shooting victims. I walked into work at 5:45 am yesterday morning with no idea what had happened just a few hours before, and I was shocked to hear of the events from my partner who saw the 4 patients on their arrival. She, the ED techs and nurses, and the surgeons and OR and ICU staffs were freaking heroes that night. While they do this kind of work every day, the urgency on Friday morning was unique.
And while I am proud by the efforts of my coworkers, I am in awe of the 2 hospitals closest to the theater: University (one of the places I trained and where I was working when Columbine happened) and Med Center of Aurora, as both hospitals saw and treated 5 times the number of victims we did.
And the biggest heroes of all were the police who rushed toward the shooting, the paramedics who sped in to evac patients to hospitals, and many of the people in the theater who risked their own safety to help others around them. Their courage cannot be described in words.
So, as opposed to the gunman, I choose to focus on the people who work in the emergency services today. Sadly there will always be people like this shooter, and so we will always have Columbines and Virginia Techs and Norways to go with places like the Aurora movie theater. It is something we will never be able to fully prevent. And we will always have events like the wildfires here in CO, or sudden medical emergencies like Lacy and Nick experienced. That is why it is so important to make sure we celebrate people like my fellow ED staff, and police and fire fighters and paramedics who risk their own lives for others, and why everyday people like the rest of us should do all we can to make our lives and the lives of those around us better, and to protect and care for what is really a very beautiful world.
Be good, everyone.