Orlando Health CEO recounts aftermath of Pulse nightclub shooting

Orlando (Fla.) Health President and CEO David Strong recounted the "emotional" incidents following the deadly nightclub shooting last June to leaders at Cape Girardeau, Mo.-based Saint Francis Medical Center Aug. 16, the Southeast Missourian reports.

Mr. Strong called the experience a "milestone" for himself and Orlando (Fla.) Regional Medical Center.

At 2:04 a.m. June 12, injured individuals "came in waves" to the hospital, culminating in 44 patients. Mr. Strong said hospital staff responded quickly and efficiently because the hospital held a mass-casualty drill in March 2016, three months before shooting. He told SFMC leaders mass-casualty drills should "be done with the utmost seriousness and without regard to external factors," the report states.

Mr. Strong noted one of the difficulties of the incident was identifying the victims. In addition to their injuries, some of the patients used fake IDs to enter the club. Others were reportedly undocumented immigrants. He said the hospital's translators struggled to keep pace with the number of patients entering the facility.

Other "unforeseen obstacles" included the media scrutiny and the outpouring of gifts. The hospital received pallets of water bottles, stacks and stacks of pizzas and makeshift memorials erected on the hospital campus, according to the report.

Mr. Strong said all 35 victims who were initially transported to the hospital alive, survived. The hospital also waived each of the victims' hospital bills, which totaled $5.5 million.

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