Virginia Beach EMS workers cope after shooting

Posted at 10:09 PM, Jun 05, 2019

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Days after the Virginia Beach shooting, EMS workers are coping with the pain.

When gunfire rang out and people needed medical attention, medics didn't think twice about rushing in to help.

"We don't block out the emotion, we don't block out that it's an individual, but we go on sort of autopilot to do the care that is necessary to fight for that individual," EMS Divison Chief Bruce Nedelka said.

Nedelka said even though everyone grieves in their own way, the biggest thing helping employees and volunteers cope is the support from the community.

Related: How to process & help kids process traumatic events like mass shootings

"[Having Virginia Beach] offer time for city employees to go and talk to a professional if they very comforting," he said.

Comfort is exactly what we need to give each other right now. It's the only way to move forward and heal.

"The victims, the staff and first responders, the hospital workers, city staff, all of the people who have been affected by this tragedy - we just want to come alongside them and give them some love," Compassion Cards founder Jordie DiFernando said.

Nedelka said hearing people he doesn't even know offer such kind words makes the healing process easier.

"The outpouring of support is so emotionally supportive and helpful for everybody," he told News 3 reporter Erin Miller.

While we see their actions as heroic, Nedelka said it's part of their job and said there will never be a time they're not running towards disaster to help.

It's also important to recognize the police and sheriff's department, 911 dispatchers and Virginia Beach firefighters.

"We have never faced this, and our heartfelt condolences got to the families and friends and coworkers," Nedelka said.

Click here for our full coverage on the Virginia Beach mass shooting.

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