Off Duty Firefighter Saves Teen Victim in Las Vegas Shooting
Valley Regional Fire Authority firefighter Dean McAuley, on vacation but always on the job, went to work October 1st when a gunman opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas. McAuley was attending the concert with friends. “Jason Aldean was out, and the crowd was just having a really good time,” he said. “Pops started happening. . . it sounded like fireworks. It took me about three seconds to know it wasn’t fireworks.”
After he helped his friends to find safe shelter, McAuley located the EMS tent, grabbed a pair of gloves, teamed up with a retired Seattle firefighter, and started treating victims. He treated and transported to the hospital 16-year-old Natalia Bacca, and their story was featured on ABC’s 20/20 newsmagazine and picked up by local media. As he arrived home in Tacoma, he received a text from Natalia’s father, “you saved my daughter’s life, can you please call me.” McAuley said, “in that moment, there was a bright spot for me. . . to hear she was alive and that she made it was everything to me.” Later that week, McAuley was reunited with Natalia at the hospital in Las Vegas.
In all, 59 people were killed and more than 500 wounded. Said McAuley, “I saw one person at their worst, but I got to witness humanity at its best. . .hundreds of people working together to help each other.”