Meet the ER physician who was the first responder at San Bernardino

Michael Neeki, DO, an emergency physician at Rialto, Calif.-based Arrowhead Regional Medical Center's trauma center, was first on the scene of Wednesday's San Bernardino shooting that killed 14, according to CNN.

The 51-year-old Dr. Neeki is Iranian born and served in the Iraqi war, but never expected to use combat training in the U.S., he told CNN.

"At the time that you go in it is still an active situation, so you don't know what you will encounter," Dr. Neeki told CNN. "It was one of the most organized scenes I had ever seen but you could feel that energy of worry. They [police on the scene] were worried if the shooters were [still] in the building and are they going to hurt more victims."

Dr. Neeki trains with the local SWAT team, according to the report. He is a hybrid medic and soldier — part of a program started in 1993 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Because of the growing prevalence of assault rifles in gang and mass shootings — the same type of weapon used in the San Bernardino shootings — there is an increasing need for physicians to be trained in battlefield medicine. According to Dr. Neeki, these guns can rip victims' organs and tissues apart and most of the medical knowledge of how to treat these wounds comes from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the report.

 

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