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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hero Intern

Daniel Hernandez, of the University of Arizona, is an intern for Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). On the day of the shooting, his quick thinking proved crucial. NPR quotes his account:

I came in at about 9:15 and I was assigned to help staff this event as an intern. I helped set up. At about 10 a.m. the event started. A few minutes later we heard gunshots. I then ran toward the congresswoman and those who I assumed would likely be injured.

The first thing I started to do was to try and check for pulses as well as to see who was still breathing. I got to do that for two or three people before I actually realized that the congresswoman had been one of the people who had been hit. When I realized that congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords had been hit, she became my top priority because she had not only been hit with a bullet but she had also been hit in the head.

I didn't notice any other injuries but I did notice that the position in which she was in was one where there was some danger of possible asphyxiation from the blood loss. So the first thing I did was to pick her up and prop her up against my chest to make sure that she could breathe properly. Once I was sure that she was able to breathe properly and wouldn't asphyxiate, the next thing I did was to apply pressure to her wound to make sure that we could stem the blood loss.

He did, and she survived.