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Apr 16, 2013 9:16 PM by Lorraine Rivera

Local officials talk about responding to mass casualty incidents

TUCSON - When a tragedy like the explosion in Boston happens Dr. Peter Rhee, the head trauma surgeon at University of Arizona Medical Center, said first responders must first think of their training, "we desensitize ourself to some degree, so we can focus on the injury and not focus on some of other parts of what happened or why it happened."

Many of the injuries occurred to lower extremities. Rhee, who is also a combat veteran, described the possible types of injuries , "the bomb will go through a glass and the glass will become a projectile and then other one would be when your body actually falls as it's flying and hits something it would be another set of injuries so it would be another predictive result of that."

Captain Byron Gwaltney at the Pima County Sheriff's Department said the best security for events would be to not have large gatherings of people which would not happen, "given the nature of our open and free society, certain security concerns really become difficult to implement to be truly safe."

Gwaltney said law enforcement is prepared for the worst, "what we do know from our training and our experiences is that evil people will carry out evil deeds if they have enough motivation and time to do it."

Sheila Foraker from El Tour de Tucson said the organization would probably be discussing security at their next meeting, "I think we've all had those thoughts come across our mind. As unthinkable as it could be. But we did begin discussing some things yesterday of course. Nothing was prepared for the discussion of that nature yesterday but we've begun thinking about it but I'm sure we'll continue to have discussions in light of these events."

According to Foraker, approximately 8,500 cyclists participated in last year's race and about 30,000 people watch the race.

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