Las Vegas Police shined as medics and lifesavers during massacre - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Las Vegas Police shined as medics and lifesavers during massacre

While automatic weapons fire was raining down on a crowd of 22,000 concert attendees during the October 1 massacre in Las Vegas, police officers from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department stood tall.

Assisted by off duty medical personnel, firefighters and civilians, they provided immediate first aid and drove victims to area hospitals in patrol cars.

While other police officers were responding to the Mandalay Bay Hotel where the gunman was firing down from the 32nd floor into the crowd, police officers on the ground had their hands full dealing with hundreds of injured in the concert venue, a possible shooter inside the venue itself, and many calls for active shooters at other hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.

As I listened to the police radio traffic that night it was utter terror.

We have an active shooter, we have an active shooter inside the fairgrounds.”

“Control be advised shots are coming from Gate 7, Gate 7, shots are coming from Gate 7.”

“We’ve interviewed multiple people leaving the concert venue, that is on the north side of Hacienda east side of Las Vegas Boulevard, saying that there are multiple people that have been shot or were shooting in the concert venue.”

“Control 183SamEasy, I have a rifle, I am at an elevated position at the medical tent I could use one more rifle at the medical tent.”

“Confirming the Mandalay Bay and Ali Baba and Giles [concert venue] are the two shooting locations, do we have a third?”

Emergency medical nightmare

Control this is CP [command post] just advising there are people down on stage left.”

“There’s many people down stage left, just be advised.” “We have multiple casualties, GSW [gunshot wounds], to the medical tent, multiple casualties.”

“I got four victims here.”

“Multiple GSW’s at the medical tent.”

“Multiple GSW’s in the chest, legs, femoral arteries at the medical tent 4A, off of Giles south of Reno.”

“Control 166, I have a gunshot victim at Gate 4, in the leg.”

“Control I got one down, gunshot wound to the leg, Reno and Giles at the intersection. I also have another victim, female, same traffic, she’s been shot looks like in the mouth, at Reno and Giles.”

“CP, you need to send medical when you can over to Reno and Giles, expedited please.”

“Control 3Mary, we’re at UMC [University Medical Center, the only level one trauma center in Nevada] with one officer shot, UMC trauma.”

“176SE, we have multiple, multiple victims shot at the medical tent. We got one shot in the head.”

“167SE I’m in the medical tent on the east side, we’re making tourniquets out of blankets, but I’m running out of blankets here.”

“Multiple wounded to the church off of Reno.”

“Medical’s been advised for Reno and Giles.”

“I’m enroute to UMC with a female with a gunshot wound to the head.” “I’m enroute to UMC code-3, I got a gun-shot officer.”

“Control, I have two victims at Gate 6 gunshot wounds to the chest and head, I need immediate medical.”

“Control 3Mary we’re at UMC trauma, P#15280 [police officer] shot, with shoulder wound in the right shoulder.”

“179SE confirm 419’s [dead] in the medical booth, multiple 419’s.”

“644 I have multiple GSW victims over here on the east side of the building. I’m on Reno just east of the Boulevard, the east side of this building, I believe it may be a church. I have numerous gunshot victims. I need medical in here and I got a five-man team to provide cover.”

“Control 3Mary9, I’m going to be in the center with other officers here, we got a lot of wounded. We’re sending them towards the Reno side towards Hooters [out of harm’s way]. We’re going to need a couple of medical evacs at the center of the south stage.”

“Control 3Mary9, there are multiple casualties stage right on the concert floor, if we can get that force team in here that would be great.”

“186 going to Sunrise [Hospital] with one tourniquet [victim].”

“Control CP, please take all emergency, EMS personnel to Gate 4A and Gate 5 for evac.”

“Control 224, obviously I’m enroute to this, Captain Plummer is going to be at UMC, he is going to start to get an assessment over there. We are going to need a medical triage close to the CP where we can get evacs. If we can get medical or FD [fire department] liaison there now, go ahead and start setting that up.”

“224 this is 656, FD is setting up a temporary triage area at the Boulevard and Tropicana on the southwest corner.”

“Control 765, designate me one large vehicle right now, I’m going to need them just north of this event, they got an officer with a gunshot wound to the neck.”

“There are multiple trucks loading multiple people up to take them to the hospital, just let them know.” “

We have one 419 over at the medical tent. 183SamEasy.

“I need somebody over here at Giles. I need medical.” “170SE we have several casualties making their way out of the east entrance at Gate 5. Giles and Ali Baba several casualties.”

We have a lot of 419’s [dead] in the main standing area inside the concert area. Probably around twenty 419’s in here.”

“We have several 419’s at the main stage.” I have three critical patients in my vehicle, I will be taking them to Sunrise [Hospital]. Is there any vehicle available to assist me with traffic to keep the traffic out of my way?”

“224IC I’m with FD. We have a ton of rescue’s [ambulances] that are available.”

“Ask them if I can throw them in my truck, they need to go now.” “Copy that, go ahead and go.”

“Control PD21, I’m now transporting five, five critical to Sunrise. Please call them and let them know I have five enroute.”

“Control 224IC we’re going to start establishing certain rules. First, we’re going to have a casualty collection point at Trop and the Boulevard. I will get you somebody to liaison with that in just a moment.”

“Control 374, medics are asking if they can go to Four Seasons and the Boulevard or if they can have officers drive their vehicles that are there with injured civilians down to a safe area.”

“Control 367 staging, I have strike teams available, I need to know where to deploy them.”

“367 this is 374, medics are saying that there is already reports of civilians in vehicles that are injured at Four Seasons and the Boulevard. They can’t get to them safely, but if officers can drive these vehicles to a safe location they can service them.”

“What’s your location.”

“What was the location of those injured people.”

“The reports are Four Seasons and Las Vegas Boulevard.”

“We are going to have a lot of people self-transporting in pickup trucks and what not to hospitals. Can you just advise the hospitals?”

UMC is at capacity unless life threatening. Go to Valley [Hospital]. “We have a bunch of ambulances at Tropicana, do they have force pro [force protection teams] with them?”

“Control PD201, we have an influx of returning ambulances and rigs for transport. The casualty collection point at the Boulevard and Tropicana is clear. Is there any other casualty collection they need to respond to?”

“Excalibur is going to be code-4 [okay]. We’re going to need medical for one GSW victim inside the lobby area.” “FD is reporting fires at Mandalay Bay, if you can confirm? FD would like to send fire trucks down there.” [There was no fire, the alarms went off when SWAT used explosives to breach the suspect’s door at 11:20 p.m.].

“Units be advised there’s a female with a gunshot wound to the head at Tropicana.”

“FD is requesting some force protection teams to stage here at Russell and Las Vegas Boulevard to start responding to citizen complaints.” “I’m at FD south on Las Vegas Boulevard, FD is requesting seven strike teams to stage here when they are ready to start responding to calls for service with them.”

“They have pending calls for service, they’re requesting seven strike teams to stage here to respond to those calls when ready.”

By midnight the Route 91 festival area already had been cleared. It was now a crime scene area. It was a night the likes of which Las Vegas had never experienced before and one can only hope will never experience again.

As bad as it was, it could have been much worse had it not been for the professionalism exhibited by the LVMPD, fire and medical personnel.   They say training and experience pays off and that’s true. However, there is something far more profound. Common sense and the ability to react without hesitation and orders amidst chaos, confusion and carnage.   That was evident that deadly night.






About the author

Doug Poppa

Doug Poppa is a US Army Military Police Veteran, former law enforcement officer, criminal investigator and private sector security and investigations management professional with 40 years of experience. In 1986 Mr. Poppa was awarded “Criminal Investigator of the Year” by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia for his undercover work in narcotics enforcement. He was also re-assigned to the Northern Virginia Regional Narcotics Enforcement Task Force for 18 months. In 1991 and again in 1992 Mr. Poppa’s testimony under oath in court led to the discovery that exculpatory evidence was withheld from the defense by the prosecutor and sheriff’s office officials during the 1988 trial of a man accused of attempted murder of his wife that led to his conviction. As a result of his testimony the man was ordered released from prison, given a new trial in 1992 and found not guilty. Mr. Poppa became the subject of local and national news media attention as a result of his testimony which led to the demise of his 12-year police career. After losing his job, at the request of the FBI, Mr. Poppa infiltrated in an undercover capacity a group of men who were plotting the kidnapping of a Dupont Chemical fortune heir and his wife in 1992. His stories have been featured on Inside Edition, A Current Affair, and CBS News’ Street Stories with Ed Bradley. Contact the author.

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