DAYTON, Ohio — Peter Ekeh was sleeping at home when he got a call about the mass shooting in Dayton. He quickly got up and rushed to work.
Everybody was ready by the time he got there. Their training and preparedness had already kicked in.
“They went ahead and activated the disaster response,” said Dr. Ekeh, Medical Director of Trauma at Miami Valley Hospital.
As the only Level 1 trauma center in the Dayton area, Miami Valley Hospital gets the most serious cases.
“I did come in because it did appear there would be more victims than we normally receive at any point in time,” Ekeh said.
The staff trains regularly for the worst so they can get the best results.
“What I saw when I came in and the events definitely convinced me of that. That didn’t occur by accident. Drills help,” Ekeh said.
The hospital has regular disaster drills with first responders, too. Ekeh said that led to a strong, coordinated response to the Dayton shootings.
“I saw evidence that the system worked,” Ekeh said.
Miami Valley Hospital received 17 victims from the attack. All but three have been discharged. The one Dayton shooting victim still in critical condition as of Sunday has been upgraded to serious condition.
In the moment, doctors and first responders act fast to save as many lives as they can. But after the emergency rush, the reality of what happened can set in.
“Yes, these things sometimes do take a toll,” Ekeh said. “We check up on each other and we have mechanisms internally to make sure we are looking after our own emotional health as well.”