A few days after the fatal shooting at the Concordia University Medical Center in Columbia, Missouri, an ambulance service in the area started using an ambulance as a medical transport vehicle.
And it’s been an immediate success.
In fact, Concordia officials say the ambulance has made an already good medical service even better.ABC News/APVideo: Concordia’s hospital shooting was a disasterFor many residents in Columbia and beyond, the incident at Concordia was an emotional rollercoaster.
The shooting took place in the early hours of February 8, 2017, when a gunman entered the medical center in Concordia and began shooting.
He shot and killed 27 people and injured 17 others before being killed by police.
The shooter’s motives were not immediately clear, but his rampage ended in a shootout with police.
As many as 1,000 people were displaced from the medical facility and nearby towns.
It was the deadliest shooting in the United States since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.
It took some time to rebuild.
By late February, a temporary emergency shut down all of the campus and hospitals.
By early March, Concordes police were providing support to the hospital’s emergency services, as well as to emergency services at surrounding towns.
The Concordia emergency medical service had about 2,000 beds when it opened, and it now has more than 4,500.
It has also expanded its medical team to include paramedics and other staff, as the shooting took a toll on the community.
In the wake of the shooting, Concordi officials put out a call for help.
The city of Columbia has had an influx of new residents in recent years, and the emergency medical response was needed.
“The first thing we wanted to do was to help people,” said Chief Robert Peevey, Concord’s police chief.
“And our medical personnel are very trained to assist those in need.”
Peevey said the city had two other medical vehicles parked in the hospital parking lot.
The Concordia medical vehicles would be used for the emergency response.
In an effort to minimize damage to the building and surrounding areas, Concord police began placing barricades in the front and back yards of the medical building.
Peeve said the first two days after shooting, the city put up a fence to keep people away from the building.
On the night of the shootings, the medical staff and residents of Concord began taking shelter at a nearby church.
A church friend of one of the wounded had brought a blanket and sleeping bag to the scene.
But, according to Peevans friend, the church had been closed for nearly two weeks, and they were worried about the possibility of people getting lost.
“If it’s raining, we’re just going to have to use a little makeshift shelter,” said Peevvans friend.
The church was the scene of several funerals.
When the Concordi Medical Center began offering burial services, people showed up in droves.
“When the city did this, I was a little concerned that there was going to be a lot of dead bodies,” Peevell said.
Peeve was able to secure the burial ground after the city erected a small memorial.
“I knew that there would be a cemetery, but I didn’t think that the city was going through that level of grief,” he said.
The memorial was unveiled to the community last week.
In addition to the memorial, the hospital has donated a new medical room for the medical team, which has been converted into a “living lab” where they work.
Peesve said he has seen positive results from the community’s response.
“We had two or three people come in, and that’s the most helpful thing I’ve seen,” he recalled.
The hospital is also providing a safe place for the injured to recover.
“They’ve been really helpful, and we’ve also had a lot more people come forward,” he explained.
The city also donated $4,000 to the medical emergency services as a way to assist the medical community.
It will be used to buy medical equipment to use in emergencies, as Concord police have already been doing.
The City of Columbia says the city will use the money to provide new medical equipment for emergency departments, including ambulances, as part of a pilot program.
The money will be spent on the purchase of new ambulances and equipment, and will be donated to a local nonprofit that will provide medical services.