At 1: 57 am on Sunday, June 12, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history erupted at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL. It was a Latin night-themed dance party, and more
than 300 people packed the club, most dancing in a large room.
A lone gunman, armed with a .233 caliber Sig Sauer AR-15-style
military assault rifle and a 9 mm semiautomatic Glock 17 pistol,
entered the club and began firing into the crowd.* During a
five-minute period, the gunman moved from room to room,
repeatedly shooting victims, reloading his weapons, and ultimately firing more than 250 rounds of ammunition.
At 2:07 am, police officers entered the club and engaged
the gunman, forcing him to retreat to restrooms at the rear of
the club. This allowed law enforcement to evacuate victims to
emergency medical services (EMS) personnel waiting outside.
The incident quickly turned into a hostage situation with the
gunman barricaded in the restroom area and threatening to
attach bombs to the remaining hostages. As law enforcement
continued to negotiate with the gunman over the ensuing two-and-a-half hours, additional victims were evacuated from the
facility. After negotiation efforts broke down, SWAT teams
made the decision to rescue the hostages and stormed the club
at 5:02 am. They exchanged gunfire with the shooter, who died
on the scene.
Orlando Regional Medical Center
The victims were taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center
(ORMC)—the only Level I trauma center in central Florida.
“It was the best day of my career; it was the worst day of my
career,” is how one surgeon who was on call at ORMC describes
that morning. As trauma surgeons, we drill and prepare to handle
the worst that humanity or Mother Nature can produce, yet hope
that such events will never happen. When they do, the lives of
all involved—patients, family members, physicians, nurses, and
other allied health care workers—are changed forever.
ORMC is an 808-bed tertiary hospital located three blocks
north of the Pulse nightclub. Arnold Palmer Hospital (APH), the
regional pediatric hospital and part of the Level I trauma center,
• Describes the lifesaving efforts of
ORMC surgeons and trauma team
members, working in a facility blocks
away from the Pulse nightclub shooting
• Explains the continuity of care
provided by hospital staff—despite
a code silver alert signaling gunfire
in the hospital’s ED lobby, which
later turned out to be false
• Highlights the benefits of the ORMC’s
disaster planning drills, as well as the
planning enhancements identified after
the mass casualty incident took place
*Minute by minute: How the attack in Orlando unfolded. Washington Post. Updated
August 1, 2016. Available at: www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/orlando-shooting/. Accessed September 7, 2016.
NOV 2016 BULLE TIN American College of Surgeons
ORMC RESPONDS TO PULSE NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING