Hospital Praises EMS Response to Texas Church Shooting

SAN ANTONIO, TX — Surgeons at University Hospital have praised Sutherland Springs EMS workers for helping ensure speedy treatment of the wounded following the shooting of worshipers Sunday morning at First Baptist Church in the small community some 35 miles from San Antonio.

Dr. Brian Eastridge, chief of trauma and emergency surgery at University Hospital, said it brought back memories from his time as a U.S. Army surgeon. Overall, the hospital received four children and five adults from First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Other wounded were sent to Brooke Army Medical Center and other regional trauma centers.

San Antonio Express-News reports that the hospital was undergoing an annual credentialing review by the American College of Surgeons. As part of that process, a verification and review team was on the premises Sunday afternoon. Hospital officials also praised Sutherland Springs EMS workers for helping ensure speedy treatment of the wounded. “It’s not something they deal with certainly on a day-to-day basis,” Eastridge said.

As of Monday afternoon, four patients remained at the hospital, their conditions ranging from serious to critical condition, hospital officials said. Three adults and one child have been released.

Tobias Walker, 26, was lying on his front lawn and bleeding profusely from a gunshot that had gone into his neck and exited out of his back. “A gunshot wound to the neck, particularly when there’s any kind of blood vessel injury, can rapidly prove fatal,” Eastridge said.

The paramedics stabilized Walker by putting a hemostatic gauze, a type of medical cloth that promotes clot formation, and applied pressure to the wound. San Antonio EMS paramedics Kip Hanson and Chris Young, and SAFD firefighters Carlos Meza, Jose A. Martinez, Anthony Salazar and Rafael Reyes were all honored for their efforts.

“Those actions of those firefighters and that EMS crew undoubtedly kept Mr. Walker alive, no question, until his injuries could be repaired by the trauma surgeons at University Hospital,” Eastridge said.