Journal of emergency medical services
By A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P Editor-in-Chief
Chris Hunter, MD, PhD, FACEP, Director of the Health Services Department for Orange County, Fla., spoke to the audience at the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) annual meeting in New Orleans about the lessons his department learned during the Pulse Nightclub Shooting, which occurred in the early hours of June 12, 2016, when an attacker entered the Orlando nightclub and began shooting.
This response included dozens of first responders from multiple agencies on scene, activation of emergency intake plans at Orlando area hospitals, coordination with several local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, and collaboration with elected leadership from across the region. Hunter presented the lessons learned regarding Orlando's approach to mass shootings, hostage situations, mass fatality events and crisis assistance.
The attack and subsequent hostage situation lasted over three hours and resulted in more than 100 victims, including 49 fatalities. Dr. Hunter discussed the response from the Orange County EMS System, from the initial encounter through the mass casualty incident.
The incident occurred about 600 yards from the ED entrance of Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) and across the street from an Orlando fire station. The initial shooting stopped in minutes, but then continued on for three hours until the shooter was engaged and killed.
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