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Home > Topics > Fire-EMS

Video: First responders talk about their experience at Conn. shooting

The responders said they wish they never experienced an incident of this magnitude before

By EMS1 Staff

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Video shows first responders received a standing ovation at a Sunday night vigil and sharing their experiences at the Newton elementary school massacre.

Arriving within minutes of the first calls, responders said that although they're trained to handle such incidents, they have never experienced anything like it.

"I wish we could've done more, to see those little faces," one responder said.

Crews said that they waited for hours into the night with parents waiting for their children.

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Shawna Myers Shawna Myers Monday, December 17, 2012 6:30:26 PM Prayer go out to all of the First Responders.
Barry Rolland Barry Rolland Monday, December 17, 2012 7:38:53 PM Being a Paramedic myself, I have worked many scene's involving shootings but nothing ever prepares anyone for something that the first responders faced that day! I don't know how I would have reacted afterwards.... I have a kindergarden child at home and am blessed every day to have him. This event has surely made me more aware of his being and the amount of love, hugs and kisses he and I share! God Bless the Emergency Personnel in CT... I pray that they will all be able to endure the pain of healing after rushing in to witness what they had to deal with.
Dawn Valencia Dawn Valencia Monday, December 17, 2012 8:18:20 PM As an EMT I know what it is like to go onto a scene not knowing what to expect, I know this is something they will take with them everywhere. I pray for all the Families and Friends of those lost, and I pray for the Responders, I know it is going to be a hard road ahead of them. I pray for their strength and peace of mind. May God Be with all of you!
Cheryl Dorlac Holliday Cheryl Dorlac Holliday Monday, December 17, 2012 8:22:08 PM May God hold and comfort all the First Responder from this tragic day.
Tony Ippolito Tony Ippolito Monday, December 17, 2012 8:35:16 PM God Bless those responders as well, and I hope they can have happy dreams. Such a crazy thing to have to respond to. We train for it but seeing is so different...
Janet Gregory Janet Gregory Monday, December 17, 2012 8:42:12 PM My son has been in EMS and has been a Paramedic for a very long time. He has seen so many horrible things, and he has been witness time and again to a new life being born. He is the father of 3 adult children and one child in kindergarten. I remember his first gun shot victim and he had a tough time handling it. I do not know how he would have reacted to the mass murders in CT. I give a very great amount of praise to ALL those who responded to Sandy Hook and I pray that each person gets the counseling that they need and that while I don't think we will ever know the reasons why this all happened, the First Responders, Fire, Police EMS and all involved can find a way to carry on. May GOD give them strength and may this act of deliberate violence never happen again! God Bless you all!
Kristen Wylie Kristen Wylie Monday, December 17, 2012 9:11:18 PM Praying for all the emergency personal.
Briahlen Havan Briahlen Havan Monday, December 17, 2012 9:22:43 PM I'm an EMT, I can understand the stress of feeling helpless. It's brutal when you're fighting a losing battle. That being said, I've been lucky enough in that I haven't had to deal with a MCI on this scale. I hope they get the CISM they need after this.
Kelly Coleman Butler Kelly Coleman Butler Monday, December 17, 2012 10:00:11 PM prayers to my EMS family... fire and LEO.
Suzanne Armbruster Suzanne Armbruster Tuesday, December 18, 2012 6:25:15 AM My heart and prayers go out to these folks.
Crystal Parker- Schoening Crystal Parker- Schoening Tuesday, December 18, 2012 8:02:34 AM All you people stating "Being a paramedic, or I'm a EMT I understand..... Blah blah" you have NO IDEA! Yes, you may have worked a small MCI, or even maybe a large MCI! Or felt helpless of a child abuse case where the child didn't make it, or SIDS! But you have NO IDEA what It would be like to work a scene with 20 helpless deceased children who were gun down for NO REASON. I'm also a EMT, but I will NEVER say I understand! NEVER! And I pray to god I never have to understand! Prayers to all the Families and first responders involved! May you all heal your wounded hearts, and know I will always mourn for you!
Jody Britton-Turner Jody Britton-Turner Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:37:19 AM As a retired paramedic I remember that the calls dealing with a child was always very hard. I can't even imagine what it was like to respond to a call for 20 children. God bless you all and don't be afraid to get help if you need it.
Ian Lewis Ian Lewis Tuesday, December 18, 2012 12:59:15 PM As an EMT for over 17 years as well as having school age children of the same age range this hits home very closely for many of us. Words like tragic, catastrophic and devastating are appropriate to use. I too have lost a loved one very close to my heart, while not my children it was their mother nearly 3 years ago. No training can prepare you for the situation which all of the EMS, Fire and Police responders have endured. Similar on 9/11 there were resources ready to treat and take care of scores of people and were not needed. It is tragic and can completely affect you in your mind and body to feel helpless to have to experience this level of loss and inability to affect the outcome. So many were lost and so young as well. My heart goes out to the families, responders, and their families as they begin the process of absorbing what has been encountered and the days ahead as they cycle through their thoughts, grief and life which has been drastically alter in ways most can not comprehend nor should imagine. For those affected understand that there is not right or wrong way with which to proceed forward. Everyone grieves for loss and tragedy in their own way as there is no manual or book for that. There is also no timeframe within which you are expected to grieve so take the time and support which is available to you as you endure this terrible situation. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you proceed ahead. Ian J. Lewis, EMT
MECTA Academy MECTA Academy Wednesday, December 19, 2012 7:20:54 AM In all the years that I have been a care giver and educator of emergency services, one of our biggest fears is to lose a pediatric patient... There is just something about kids that breaks us all. My heartfelt and sincere support and empathy go out to the responders of the Connecticut shootings. Whether you are a First Responder with minimal experience or one with many years of helping people under your belt, this hurts us all. I can’t even begin to imagine the horror that you are reliving each time you close your eyes to rest, each time you see a small child in a mother’s arms... At this time I can offer no words of wisdom to assist you in the days and months to come. But, I know that each and every single responder shares my support for you all! God Bless You All!
Carol Stanton Carol Stanton Saturday, December 22, 2012 6:41:02 PM gut renching.........God Bless our Polieemen, Firemen and Paramedics..
Steve Jacobi Steve Jacobi Sunday, December 23, 2012 5:48:02 PM A few of the stories I have seen coming from the EMTs and Paramedics on scene leaves one to wonder if they are not for their own fame without any consideration of the families. Do you really need to describe in gruesome details to plant horrific images into the minds of parents that the child you are describing might have been theirs? Yes I know everyone wants to get their name in headlines and some for the wrong reasons. Discuss your own brave acts but please don't go into detail about the children you saw shot. Even if you don't name the child it still is information which should be released only at the discretion of those working closely with the families who lost their loved ones, it still sets an image which can hurt.

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