Denver Post Reporters Could Have Saved More Lives Than Rescuers!


It seems the Denver Post has hired two extraordinarily gifted emergency medical advisers, or possibly two desperately stupid reporters that feel that from the safety of their adorably decorated cubicles they can fairly judge the conduct of the emergency personnel that responded to the Aurora shootings.


It seems Karen E. Crummy (no irony in her name and her reporting is there) and Chucky Murphy feel there is some story here, they imply cowardice on the part of some responders. They imply that some medical crews were hiding out mere blocks away from this tragedy because they were unwilling to risk themselves.





Well I’m sure with the staggering experience these two valiant reporters have in dealing with chaotic, dangerous, and unpredictable scenes entitles them to sit in judgment over the men and women who do this work on a daily basis. The sheer volume of their collective reporting must afford them their clearly superior position.


This is how they choose to begin their piece.

“Even as Aurora police begged for ambulances at the scene of last week’s theater massacre, at least six nearby medical responders weren’t called to the scene for 20 to 35 minutes — or were never called at all.”


Well there you have it why write further? Definitive proof that these cowards were hiding out in dark alleys with their lights turned off, ducking down in their seats any time someone walked by. It is obvious at this point there must be a full investigation and some heads should roll.


I’m sure if Karen and Chuck had left their offices or homes that night they undoubtedly would have scooped one of these poor souls up on to their back and carried them to a hospital on foot.


After all they have been reporting on tragedies of all kinds for years. They know this business as well as any paramedic or EMT does, they know what it is like to be in the shit. Heck I’m sure the newsroom gets pretty chaotic some days, especially when someone brings in homemade cookies, you know those big fat chocolate chewy chip ones. Now that is scary when you get the news of the arrival late and have to fight your way in there for some of that sweet goodness. I’m sure they have seen some bad injures when a hand got mistaken for a cookie.


Because reporting on emergencies days later is just like being there. I’m sure they have conducted numerous interviews with the innocent people traumatized by this horror. I’m sure as they pressed the phone against their shoulder and ear, cookie in hand, pen in the other; they really felt just like they were there. They could have done a better job; they could have saved those people.


Let me try and throw just a little light on this subject. First off I am a retired firefighter/paramedic with over 30 years on the streets. I wasn’t in Aurora that night and have never worked a mass shooting (thank you God) like this.


What I have done is to be part of a brotherhood and sisterhood of heroes that willingly put their lives on the line for others on a daily basis. They don’t do it from the safety of an office cubicle, they do it on the streets.


They go home with the blood of others on their clothes, with the smell of sulfur and death in their noses and minds. They hear the screams of the innocent for years afterwards. It’s their feet that slip around on a blood covered floor, and it’s in their nightmares when they get home.


So judge your asses off Karen and Chuck, second guess the actions of people that if called will still gladly risk their lives to save your miserable souls. I understand the search for “News” under these conditions, hell you have resumes to build, national by-lines to gather, awards to consider. Yeah I know you secretly are searching for your Pulitzer, it just might be in this story somewhere.


So as you big through the garbage cans you like to visit searching for your award know this. You have succeeded in rubbing salt in the wounds of some very good people.


Do either of you know the SOP’s of any of these organizations? Do you understand that every single rescuer that was being held back that night is second guessing themselves? I assure that it was killing them to be held back, out of the action. Every fiber in them was screaming turn us loose there are people that we can help.


But we don’t have the luxury of freelancing, we have a structure a command structure that is designed to make things like this better not worse. If all the available resources were allowed to self dispatch on this emergency the scene would have quickly devolved into pure chaos.


A huge traffic jam was already in place, hundreds trying to flee, dozens trying to get in and help and all under completely unknown conditions. One of first rules is, don’t become part of the problem.


As a paramedic I am sure that the first arriving medics had it handled, we use a system of triage. Decisions have to be made quickly and without emotion as to who gets what treatment and in what order. Ambulances and transport vehicles are held at a distance until needed to reduce congestion and confusion, and with a huge scene like this you call for every resource you can get even if you don’t use it, better safe than sorry.


As the paramedics on scene triaged the wounded they would request transport as needed and those units waiting at a distance would flow in, gather their patients and then leave.


Also all area hospitals are not created equal. Some can’t take certain types of injuries. The triage medics have to keep this in mind and communicate with the individual emergency rooms real time to see what destinations are able to take what kinds of injures and in what quantity. If too many critical patients are sent to one hospital then the treatment of those patients will suffer or they will have to be moved again.


Did either of these courageous reporters stop to think about the tremendous responsibility of a job like that? Can you imagine having that many lives hanging in the balance, doing your very best to help all those people, and then days later be second guessed by the press?


How rude!


Karen and Chuck educate yourselves in our ways before you judge us on very little information. Your jobs maybe important, after all getting information out to a curious public is your job.


But guess what our jobs are critical, we save lives while you seek to damage those very lives. To quote Aaron Sorkin’s character Col. Nathan Jessep from A Few Good Men,
“I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way.”


4 thoughts on “Denver Post Reporters Could Have Saved More Lives Than Rescuers!

  1. Well Said Tim!! I think there are too many in the media that report uninformed as Karen and Chuck do…it is infuriating and it is maddening. Maybe they should stick to writing articles on the Keebler Elves–they probably have first hand knowledge of them–just saying 🙂

  2. May I simply say what a comfort to discover someone that actually knows what they are
    discussing on the web. You actually know how to bring an
    issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this
    and understand this side of your story. I can’t believe you are not more popular given that you surely possess the gift.

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