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First responders to Las Vegas mass shooting tell stories of heroism

Posted at 12:20 AM, Oct 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 14:42:13-04

Every day we are getting new stories of heroism from first responders as well as the regular people who jumped in to action at the Route 91 Festival.

"I ran into the venue. I drive behind a bar," Glen Simpson said of his reaction when he realized a gunman opened fire on the Route 91 Festival.

Simpson says he quickly got on his radio to call for help.

"She said simultaneously we said the exact same thing on two different channels. Saying there's multiple gunshots, we need more ambulances now," Simpson said.

The paramedic said as the gunshots were being fired he sat behind that bar for a few seconds.

"I had a decision to either get up and move or stay here. More shots went off. Sounds like they were getting closer I thought to myself I need to be where I can see my people. I need to help my people," Simpson said.

That's when he began helping the hundreds of wounded people with just 16 staff members in five ambulances on scene. All of them making some of the toughest decisions of their lives.

“The hardest part is looking for someone in the face when they say do CPR and I have to look at them and say no," Simpson said.

As he continued to work save as many lives as possible Simpson was listening for one thing.

"I knew that if ambulances started showing up at the scene was safe or safer," Simpson said. "The ambulances kept not showing up.”

As they got patients to the five ambulances at the scene, Simpson says there was no hesitation from the paramedics inside.

"They said loaded up, the ambulance put as many people as you can inside," Simpson said.

Simpson says it wasn't just the paramedics stepping in to help.

"I can't tell you how many countless people were taking off their shirts so we could use them as tourniquets," Simpson said.

He credited the dozens of everyday heroes for saving lives that night.

About two hours in Simpson said some of the emotions started to hit.

"There was a dispatcher we work with and she kind of grabbed me and the floodgates just opened. I was able to compose myself and get back out there," Simpson said.

But over the weeks and months to come Simpson those little things will continue to trigger those emotions as they did this morning.

"I turn on the stereo in the first song that comes out is the song that happens to be by Jason Aldean, I just couldn't listen to it I had to turn off. I don't even know what the song was it was just couldn't listen to it," Simpson said.

Community Ambulance had grief counselors on hand and other resources available to help their employees involved in the response, both in the field and at the office.