Louisville native provided aid to Las Vegas shooting victims

Louisville native provided aid to Las Vegas shooting victims
Published: Oct. 2, 2017 at 5:52 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2017 at 8:44 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville native now living in Las Vegas was among the emergency responders providing aid to the victims of the of the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States.

"There were no fewer than five ambulances at a time showing up," said Dean Harris, a graduate from the University of Louisville's School of Nursing. "There was a guy who brought a couple victims in the back of his pickup truck."

Harris said the first shooting victims arrived at University Medical Center of Southern Nevada after 10 p.m. Harris is travel nurse and began working at UMC a month ago.

"Before this assignment, I worked at Clark Memorial in the ICU and they don't get many trauma patients," Harris said.

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Harris was working an overnight shift and was moved to the trauma room for the first time. He says he saw at least 50 victims.

"You see this kind of stuff dramatized on TV but it's not like that at all," Harris said. "These are real people and they are in real pain and quite a few of them didn't make it."

Harris has been a nurse for three years. Now at UMC, he is working at a hospital with the largest trauma center in the state of Nevada.

"I was amazed how well the staff was able to handle and coordinate everything," Harris said. "It was chaotic and the victims were very swiftly and efficiently dealt with."

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Harris says people with less severe injuries had to be moved to chairs in the hallways. Nurses were pulling from every supply cart in the hospital and Harris adds the nurses ran out of IV tubing for blood transfusions.

"The hospital filled up very quickly and we got a lot of people from other hospitals that weren't equipped to take care of these types of patients and injuries," Harris said.

The rush of shooting victims lasted until about 1 a.m. Monday, Harris said. He will return to work Monday night but stays he still has not been able to process how sad it was to witness the aftermath of the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.

"I am not sure where I will be or what I will see," Harris said, "but you have to be flexible and be ready for the unexpected."

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