First responders face traumatic situations daily - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

First responders face traumatic situations daily

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HEMSI workers have to put what they see out of their minds and focus during emergencies. HEMSI workers have to put what they see out of their minds and focus during emergencies.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

First responders from Friday's mass shooting said they never experienced a tragedy of that magnitude. Being an EMS worker is a job that, no doubt, can be tough for anyone.

Emergency crews here said they can relate to what those workers had to go through. 

Emergency responders deal with life and death situations every day.

Paramedic Angie Voss has been with HEMSI since 1994.  She said she's seen a lot in her line of work, including the chaos that ensued during the UAH shooting.  She said dealing with the trauma she and her coworkers see on a daily basis takes a lot of mental preparation.

"I think we honestly do that when we clock in," she said.  "I think that most of us can say we are geared to see whatever because we are used to any variations." 

First Responders at Sandy Hook Elementary said the shooting that left 20 students and 6 teachers dead was the worst shooting they had ever seen.

"I can't even imagine what they were going through," Voss said.  "I'm sure it was horrible, and I know it is and it will be for a while." 

Chief Operations Officer Don Webster said HEMSI crews have never experienced a situation as severe as Sandy Hook, but when it's time to save lives, HEMSI workers have to put what they see out of their minds and focus. 

"Switching into that mode to take care of them, you're focusing on the injuries, the illnesses, the problem at hand," he said.  

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