Across the country eyes are watching Las Vegas, and right here in East Tennessee medical professionals are studying the response.
"The shooting in Las Vegas is a disaster. It will overwhelm one hospital, it will overwhelm multiple hospitals with those numbers of victims,” explained UT Medical Center’s Trauma Director Dr. Brian Daley.
With 59 people dead, 527 injured and thousands fleeing from a gunman, a nightmare scenario played out at a music festival in Las Vegas Monday night. It's one UT Medical Center trains to handle.
Daly said two recent mass casualty events have shaped how Knox County responds to such events - in 2008 a shooting at Knoxville's Unitarian Universalist Church killed two people, and in 2013 a church bus blew a tire on Interstate 40 in Jefferson County and hit a semi head-on. The crash killed 6 people and injured 14 others.
Through each of these events, hospital staff learned how to adjust to the needs before them.
"We had plenty of resources, but we needed nurses. So we drew upon our administration who moved up from patient care to come down and provide care,” said Daley.
UT now invests in training the public in case they ever found themselves in the middle of a disaster.
"We learned from Sandy Hook that EMS, even the police are not going to get there, and the people who are going to make the difference stopping the bleeding of the people on the scene,” said Daley.
And be ready to take action.
"Call 911, expose the wound, apply direct pressure,” he explained.
Another important step in disaster response is debriefing - the process of unpacking and discussing what happened. It's key to making sure responders are ready to go back to work.
"It takes some reflection to take it all in and figure out how you're going to move forward,” said Daley.
UT Medical Center recently met with hospital leaders in Chattanooga to discuss the response to the last November's fatal school bus crash and how they can better respond in such an emergency.