Friday, April 3rd, 2009 10:45

I stood next to the polished mahogany casket of Mr. Nicholas G. Panko. Myself and five other emergency service providers had just carried him to his final resting place next to his mom and dad.

My PDA vibrated. I had told myself earlier not to even carry my PDA. I looked. A text from dispatch. Active shooter – Binghamton.

Nervous glances among all of us who simultaneously received the text. The look of what should we do.

It became evident as if Nick was telling us;


We made our apologies to the family.

CNN’s front page:

My assignment for this was as the EMS liaison in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Despite the education, planning and discussions about violence erupting – this was here in my community and it was a personal experience.

This occurred just several blocks from where Dave and I sat and listened to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman talk about violence like this. It was happening right here in my community, . I was born in Binghamton. My daughter attended Binghamton public schools when she was small. I have lived here most of my adult life.

I beg you, I implore you: If your agency, company, or region has not talked about an incident like this – do it now….today.. this morning. Bang on the Chief’s door. Tell him your agency needs a plan. Make sure they equip you for this… don’t allow them to set you up to fail! Go to Contact me… I don’t have any of the answers… maybe I can point you in a direction.

The whole community is a victim of this – it is psychologically demoralizing experience. This is a plague, an infestation that is coming to your community. It came to ours….we just didn’t expect it on April 3rd, 2009.

I got your back… I know you’ve got mine.

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