Seton Hall alumnus Dr. Christopher Fisher helped to treat 210 victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Fisher is the Medical Director of Trauma Services at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, where many of the victims were brought on the evening of the shooting, according to Seton Hall’s website.
Fisher graduated Cum Laude from Seton Hall in 1993 with a B.S. in biology, before he went on to Rutgers Medical School.
Fisher said that when he first got an alert on his pager the night of the shooting, he did not think much of it. He said that he tends to get a lot of alerts, but about 90 percent end up being nothing.
“After I started getting multiple pages of gunshot wounds, however, I started to think it was something serious,” said Fisher.
Victims started arriving at 10:00 p.m., according to Fisher. He worked throughout the night treating them.
“The experience was unbelievable,” he said. “We drill twice a year for mass casualty events, but we had never had that volume of patients.”
Fisher went on to say why he thinks Stephen Paddock, the shooter, would commit a crime of this magnitude.
“He must have had been a really significant underlying psychiatric issue for him to do something like this,” Fisher said. “It’s beyond evil; it’s selfish when it comes down to it.”
Fisher said that despite the gloom of the occasion, he enjoyed watching the Las Vegas community come together to help each other.
“It was amazing how the Las Vegas community came together, not just the first responders and the staff, nurses and physicians, but people in the community,” he said. “That night and for days after, there were lines of cars and trucks that were bringing in supplies for the victims and the families. They brought food, water, pillows, blankets and nobody asked them. They just showed up at the hospital and brought whatever they could.”
Brittany Perumpail, a sophomore biology major, said that when she heard about Fisher helping the victims of the shooting, it warmed her heart.
“The whole attack was devastating to hear about considering the huge number of people injured in the incident,” she said. “It’s amazing to know that one of the people who helped out that day came from the same place as me and I take pride in that.”
Perumpail said that Seton Hall encourages its health sciences students to care for others.
“They mold us into servant leaders,” she said. “I love that part of the mission they have here.”
Hunter Lindsey, a junior nursing major, said that it was great to hear that someone from the Seton Hall family stepped up to help save others and made such an impact.
“As a nursing major, I hope to have such an impact on a lot of people,” she said. “I can only strive to be half as good a person as Fisher is.”
Stephanie Bade, also a junior nursing major, said that Seton Hall health sciences students “fall nothing short of going above and beyond.” She said this is due to the compassionate encouragement of the faculty and program.
Dr. Mary Meehan, interim president of Seton Hall, shared her thoughts on Fisher’s work via email.
“When I learned that one of our alumni, was involved in treating the victims of the tragedy in Las Vegas, I was so proud as I am sure he was not only leading medical treatment in a trauma unit, but also bringing compassion to families and loved ones,” she wrote.
Meehan went on to say that she is appalled by the violence that has become so prevalent in today’s age, and that it reminds her to think of ways that everyone at Seton Hall can bring peace and compassion on campus.
“I know there are people right here who do not feel that they belong, but they do,” she said. “We all need to think about what more we can do to create communities where all are respected and feel at home.”
Meehan concluded by saying that she hopes the education at Seton Hall goes beyond securing a job in the future.
“The ministry of Jesus was to teach and to heal,” she said. “As a Catholic university, it is my hope that we inspire our students who choose careers in health sciences, nursing, and medicine to see their work as a calling and not just a career.”
Isabel Soisson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.