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Learning from tragedy, trauma surgeon from Pulse Nightclub shooting in Michiana

NOTRE DAME, Ind. -

Michiana is preparing for disaster. Gun violence and mass shootings are fears that many carry in this country, and it is a reality that the nation faces.

But how can people prepare for the worst? 

The 17th Trauma Symposium was held at the University of Notre Dame on Saturday. It allowed health care professionals and first responders to learn from each other's experiences, making sure that if disaster strikes, they know how to save as many lives as possible. 

"You get  tired of hearing, 'we never thought it would happen here,' 'we never thought it would be us," say Dr. Joseph Ibrahim, the Trauma Medical Director at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Lessons learned from a tragedy: a tragedy that the Orlando medical staff experienced firsthand.

"We had a nice discussion on what happened that night, how we responded to what we did prior to the event, but then also what we learned during the event and now, going forward," he explains.

Dr. Ibrahim was one of the trauma surgeons at the hospital that was the forefront of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in June 2016. 

He, and others, are traveling across the country to help educate others on how to function during times of panic. 

"It's so important because people don't realize how they prepare for these things," Ibrahim says. "They need to know what to do, should these events happen."

Notre Dame's campus was packed with local first responders and medical personnel, determine to make sure if the unthinkable does happen in Michiana, they would be ready. 

"Honestly, Notre Dame is here. And a disaster could happen at any time, and it probably will happen, and we need to know how to prepare for that disaster," says Dusten Roe, the Director of Trauma Services at Memorial Hospital.

Memorial is the only trauma center in the region.

Although they do practice different drills and training techniques for these types of situations every six months, Roe says it's important to learn the best plan of action.

"Training. Be prepared. Anything can happen and it will probably happen," he explains. "So, we need to know what to do when that does happen."

But the learning doesn't end with medical staff. 

Dr. Ibrahim says, everyone is responsible for each other. Especially during difficult times.

"You don't have to work in a hospital setting or medical setting at all," adds Ibrahim. "You could come from any background and have the simple knowledge of how to put on a tourniquet, how to hold pressure when you need to, and how to get people the care they need."

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