A tragic accidental shooting involving two members of the EMS family, AEMTs from Community Ambulance in Henderson/Las Vegas, Nevada, has the ambulance company and the entire EMS community in mourning. Both were off-duty at the time of the accident, attending a birthday party at a friend’s residence. The two AEMT’s were both struck by the same bullet that was accidentally discharged from a handgun.
Ryan Nelson died as a result of his wound and Eric Thyr continues to receive critical care at University Medical Center Trauma Center in Las Vegas.
Brian Anderson, general manager of Community Ambulance, told JEMS, “Our hearts are broken and our prayers will continue for both Ryan and Eric’s families and for a full recovery for Eric. We have set up GoFundMe pages for Ryan’s memorial service and Eric’s medical care and would greatly appreciate any support from the EMS community.”
JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman adds, “We at JEMS grieve with our colleagues in the Las Vegas system, many of which are still healing from the emotional trauma of the 2017 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip a year ago, the night of October 1, when a gunman opened fire on the concertgoers.”
Community Ambulance, the special events EMS agency at the venue, had 21 staff members on site as the gunman fired more than 1,100 rounds from his suite on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel, killing 58 people and leaving 851 injured from gunfire and the resulting panic. It was the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States.
The Community Ambulance staff has been praised for remaining at their medical station posts, moving among and treating countless victims as bullets rained down all around them. Heightman adds, “It’s so painful to hear of a tragic loss of EMTs from an accidental shooting after all the Community Ambulance staff endured last year. They banded together then and I know they will band together now to continue their dedication to saving patients’ lives in honor of their colleagues.”
Visit the Community Ambulance Facebook page for additional information.