This is a very personal post, a micro view of the crazy senseless violence that dominated rural Southern California yesterday in what is called the Inland Empire. San Bernardino is one of the largest counties in the United States which borders 2 states. In the city of San Bernardino where the shooting took place, the area borders Loma Linda and Redlands. All areas affected by the shootings.
When I heard there were shooting at the Inland Regional Center the only motivation seemed to me to be a workplace issue. Most people do not know the Regional Center is even there, except if you are in a family with someone with a development disability. Then you are one of the many people who are eternally grateful for the services they provide to your disabled loved one. One service, providing caregivers and respite when you need a break from the intense demands of caring for someone with multiple disabilities. I could imagine there would ever be a political motive (AKA terrorist) angle.
Other possible motives might have been the family member of someone who was denied service or did not get the level of service they had expect….
It is necessary to consider the possible motivations when you are out in it. I was one of the many people out getting medical care during the event. I have a minor problem with a finger that has arthritis. I had found the surgical site had become infected, and I was at my doctor’s office in Fontana (west of the shootings) finding out what the plan was going to be. The plan was to have another surgery that afternoon and I was to go home (through the area of the shooting which had just started) and return back to Fontana (drive back through the shooting area) and have the surgery. I would return home that night.
As I left the building, the fire alarm was going off. No fire was announced. I noticed a line of helicopters in the air. As I entered the freeway, I saw a long line of EMS vehicles headed in the same direction I was going, east.
The radio announcer told the story–mass shooting at the Regional Center, don’t go anywhere around it (except if you have to drive by to get your husband and drive back to the hospital to have surgery; I thought to myself)
What followed over then next few hours was a digital kaleidoscope of images viewed from my smartphone in the surgical waiting room collected from Twitter; users provided links to pertinent audio from police scanners, YouTube videos, photos from neighbor’s witnessing events and Don on Google maps following the location of shootouts.
Occasionally we looked up at CNN’s coverage of irrelevant “it could be this, it could be that.” Nothing they were discussing seemed even close to what was unfolding on my phone.
As a professional I was plugged into the emergency response system and was receiving regular updates on where resources where needed. Where the most injured were going (2 local trauma centers) and what was happening at the local university where I work, which was eventually closed for the day. My surgery was postponed, which was fine. I could have easily come back the next day. I was glad the staff stayed until all were seen.
It was a unique way to see, hear and read the emergency response system from this very person view. Both as a part of the system and as a patient hoping I could still receive the nonemergent care I needed. The San Bernardino EMS did an outstanding job. The entire drama unfolded on both the North and South sides of Interstate 10 within a few miles of the freeway. No one else was injured in this heavily populated area. Job well done!