RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) – Through the chaos that followed emergency calls from inside Sparks Middle School on Monday, after a 7th grader opened fire on a teacher and two other students, one emergency paramedic - first on scene - kept a clear head.
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The whole time it felt like a drill, so he was going through the motions like he always had in his training,” REMSA Tactical Paramedic Team leader, Todd Kerfoot said. “When he got to the patients, that's when he realized it was real."
Kerfoot said the member of his team moved in with law enforcement as other EMT’s staged outside the scene, waiting for his instructions.
“He was geared up, wearing all of our tactical gear and he moved in and was directed right to the patients," Kerfoot said.
“The initial tactical paramedic made contact and did some form of treatment on every patient,” REMSA EMS director Kevin Romero said. “He was able to coordinate the response in by ambulance and other REMSA paramedics to get them to a zone that was safe and get them quick and immediate transport."
Romero said that includes the shooter who had shot himself in the head, and teacher Michael Landsberry who died moments after being shot in the chest. After an assessment, the medic moved on to the two juvenile victims he could still help; each with single gunshot wounds.
“The initial treatment of blood loss saves lives and it's been proven in Afghanistan and Iraq. That's what they're there for and that's what he did and it probably did make a difference on one of those patients,” Romero said.
Romero said the difference was in the additional amount of time it would have taken to get treatment, had medical staff waited for police to clear the scene and declare the school grounds safe.
“They were able to take those people and move them out of the hot zone very quickly,” Romero said.
After being taken to the hospital in critical condition, both teens are now stable and expected to survive.
“It's a unique gift to be able to sort through chaos, to get people the quickest treatment as possible and you kind of have to look at the big picture, and that's what they're trained to do,” Romero said.