Inside trauma center that saved lives after El Paso shooting

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By Kristen Powers

The Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, Texas is where many of the victims the recent mass shooting were rushed for treatment. The hospital staff, which treated 11 patients, is now struggling with the aftermath of the traumatic event in their community. Dr. Stephen Flaherty, who runs the trauma department, told NBC’s Blayne Alexander that before patients started arriving, he realized it was going to be a mass casualty event and spoke to his team.

“I just kind of told people what to expect," he explained. "Reinforced to them that they're good, they're excellent at what they do and they are ready."

Flaherty likened the victims' wounds to those seen in a war zone. It's something he experienced firsthand when he served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“When you do it overseas, in a combat zone taking care of soldiers, sailors, and airmen, there’s an added sense of patriotism that goes with that," he explained, holding back tears…"And here I think what we all experienced was a sense of community."

To doctors who think an event like this could never happen in their communities, Flaherty says to “get ready" and "start preparing for this as when it’s going to happen.”