On an average day in the city of Watertown, Mass., the police department fields 28 emergency 911 calls; however, on April 19, 2013, 566 calls to 911 were made within a few short hours during the shootout with the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt.
Heroes among us
DEDICATED RESPONDERS: From left, Rubash, Dumont, Dupuis and Grottkau
On an average day in the city of Watertown, Mass., the police department fields 28 emergency 911 calls. However, on April 19, 2013, 566 calls to 911 were made within a few short hours during the shootout with the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt. Police also say an average gunfight typically lasts three to five seconds with a total of four rounds shot, but this intense battle lasted nearly six minutes with more than 200 rounds fired.
“It was a tough night for a lot of people,” said State Trooper Chris Dumont, EMT-P, who has been lauded for his leadership and quick actions in helping to save the life of Massachusetts Transit Police Officer Richard Donohue, who survived cardiac arrest and near total blood loss after a bullet severed his femoral artery. “It’s hard to describe that night. I don’t remember having time to think about anything. My training just kicked in. Everybody worked together, and there wasn’t one person who saved Officer Donohue’s life. But if one person had done something differently, it could have cost him his life.”
Dumont was a guest speaker, alongside Watertown Police Department Capt. Raymond Dupuis, at the April 17 MGH Department of Orthopædic Surgery Grand Rounds presentation, “Watertown – Officer Down,” in the O’Keeffe Auditorium. “Everyone involved played a key role,” said Dupuis. “Police, fire and EMS did what they were trained to do – but the doctors, nurses, physical therapists and all in the medical field saved the bombing victims’ lives. I would not trade places with any of you. You are the true heroes.”
The pair presented an overview of both the tactics police used as well as the lifesaving measures that took place during the chaotic scene. In the year following the attacks, they also have worked together closely to support an initiative that all Massachusetts State Police carry combat gauze and SWAT tourniquets in case of similar future injuries. Currently the 174 recruits now enrolled in the police academy are trained to use the materials, and this will soon be expanded so all troopers carry it while on patrol.
“So many of you in attendance were involved in the medical care of those who were injured after these horrible events,” said Harry Rubash, MD, chief of the Department of Orthopædic Surgery. “We wanted you to hear from the other heroes that were involved and take the time to say thank you for all of your dedication to our patients and our city.”
The lecture was coordinated by Brian Grottkau, MD, chief of the Department of Orthopædic Surgery’s Pediatric Service, who has worked as an auxiliary police officer in Winchester since 1991 and has been friends with Dupuis for several years. “You guys are out there on a daily basis taking care of us, and I just can’t thank you enough,” he said.
Read more articles from the 04/25/14 Hotline issue.