ORANGE (CBSLA) — Wendy Carmona was enjoying the Las Vegas country music festival with her husband and another couple Sunday night when the shooting started.
Instead of running and hiding, the UC Irvine Medical Center nurse took charge and kept order at the back of an ambulance.
Carmona helped coordinate a group of wounded concertgoers at a makeshift field hospital that sprung up outside of the Tropicana Hotel.
“People were panicking,” said Carmona. “They were hysterical and that’s understandable. They were taking care of their person and that’s their focus but we also need to think of the whole and that’s where I kicked in.”
The nurse of seven years helped two EMTs triage the gunshot victims, those who’d been trampled and were traumatized.
At first this was happening at the staff entrance at the back of the Tropicana but when fears of another shooter spread the group barricaded themselves in a long hallway that doubled as an emergency room.
“There was someone who was a paraplegic who’d been tipped over in her wheelchair and had been trampled and so she needed help,” said Carmona. “And then there were two that came — one had been shot in the back I think twice and then there was another one who had been shot through the lung.”
What stands out to Carmona is the dedication of the medical community. Dozens and dozens who came to enjoy a night of music and shifted into work mode rescuing, treating and saving the wounded.
Another hero in Carmona’s eyes is Luis Carmona, her husband. He has no emergency or medical training but ran back to help who he could.
Carmona and her husband left Las Vegas on Monday. She was back to work on Tuesday.