Welcome back to EMIGcast.

During this episode we travel to Denver, Colorado, to talk with Dr. Richard Zane, MD, about a topic that has, unfortunately, been on many people’s minds recently—mass casualty events.

The purpose of this episode is not to delve deeply into the details of any particular shooting or discuss the people who commit violent crimes, but rather to use the emergency response to the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting as a template to talk about the levels of medical response to emergencies that have the potential to stretch available resources.  We start by talking briefly about the EMS role in a mass casualty event, then transition to a discussion about how hospital emergency departments train and prepare for such events, as well as what goes on behind the scenes when an event occurs.  From there we touch on where our current mass casualty protocols come from and how they have changed.  Most importantly, however, we discuss the importance of self-care for emergency responders and healthcare professionals in the wake of events that are likely to be deeply disturbing.


Special thanks to Arapahoe County and the Colorado 18th judicial district for permission to use the actual 911 dispatch audio from the night of the Aurora shooting.


We at EMIGcast would like to thank all those who have been involved with the emergency response to mass casualty events, the most recent of which in Las Vegas, is still painfully fresh in our minds.  Thank you all for your service.



– Self-care for emergency professionals.

– The role of EMS in mass casualty events.

– The emergency medicine response to mass casualty events.

– Challenges, changes, and innovations associated with mass casualty events.


Larissa Unruh, MS4

Oregon Health and Science University




Aurora Movie Theater Shooting: http://www.aurorasentinel.com/news/anschutz-doctors-played-critical-role-in-hours-after-rampage/


Everbridge: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everbridge


WHO:  http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/268766/Hospital-emergency-response-checklist-Eng.pdf

Brigham women’s response: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-colo-shooting-massacre-aftermath-prepared-hospitals/

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