San Bernardino shooting first responders to attend State of the Union address

San Bernardino police chief, county sheriff and a dispatch supervisor will be among those to attend the speech Tuesday

By Beau Yarbrough
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — More of those who responded to the Dec. 2 terrorist attack in San Bernardino will be the guests of members of Congress during Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

James Parnell, the Director of Patient Care for Adult Trauma at Loma Linda University Medical Center, will also be the guest of Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-San Bernardino, Aguilar’s office announced on Friday. On Thursday, Aguilar’s staff announced that San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan and San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon would be attending President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union speech as his guests.

San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan at a press conference after the Dec. 2 mass shooting.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan at a press conference after the Dec. 2 mass shooting. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

“I feel honored to have been invited to the State of the Union address as a representative of Loma Linda University Medical Center, and I’m looking forward to meeting our political dignitaries for the first time,” Parnell said in an emailed statement.

Loma Linda University Medical Center, along with Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, cared for the victims of the Dec. 2 attack.

Members of Congress typically only get one guest ticket for the annual address. Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, donated his guest ticket to Aguilar so that both Burguan and McMahon could attend, and Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, gave up her guest ticket so that Parnell could attend.

Parnell, Burguan and McMahon will be joined at the Capitol building by Anne Marie Teall, the Police Dispatch Supervisor for the City of San Bernardino.

Teall is the guest of Rep. Norma Torres, D-Pomona.

“Anne Marie was the calm voice we all heard on the 911 recordings from that fateful day,” Torres is quoted as saying in a press release issued Friday. “As panic spread throughout the region, she and her team coordinated a swift, effective emergency response to what is likely the greatest tragedy our community has ever suffered.”

Torres worked as a dispatcher for the Los Angeles Police Department.

“I know the unbelievable pressure 9-1-1 dispatchers are under and how important their work is in responding to emergencies,” Torres is quoted as saying. “Without them, our first responders would not be able to do their jobs, yet dispatchers very rarely get the recognition they deserve. By inviting Anne Marie, I hope to not only recognize her and the crucial role she played that day, but also the thousands of dispatchers throughout the country who form a vital part of our first responder teams, yet often go unnoticed.”

About 300 law enforcement officers and personnel from other agencies responded to the attack at San Bernardino’s Inland Regional Center on Dec. 2. Fourteen people were killed and 22 wounded, making it the worst terrorist attack in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.

Obama will deliver his final State of the Union address at 6 p.m. Tuesday. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will give the Republican Party’s official response immediately after.

(c)2016 the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

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