Tuesday, July 31, 2012
By: J. D. Heyes
According to a report in the Denver Post, in the days following the early morning massacre of moviegoers on July 20 in nearby Aurora by “alleged” gunman James Holmes, a Colorado university, only 16 miles away from the site of the attack, staged an identical exercise the very same day in which medical students were instructed on how to react to a gunman who had opened fire on people in a theater.
From the Post:
Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine is in the middle of holding specialized classes in disaster life support for 150 second-year medical students. Along with response to natural disasters like hurricanes and floods and terrorist attacks, one of the scenarios being used to train the students is how to respond if a shooter fires at people in a movie theater and also uses a bomb in the attack.
Training doctors to respond to, among other things, mass murder in a theater
The addition of a bomb to the attack scenario is even more chilling, considering Holmes reportedly used a smoke bomb or two in his attack – not to mention the web of booby traps he left for police at his apartment.
“The irony is amazing, just amazing,” said Rocky Vista Dean Dr. Bruce Durbin, in a classic understatement.
Durbin went on to say that specialists in emergency medicine from Parkland Hospital in Dallas, as well as from several other emergency programs around the nation, are teaching a course called the Advanced Disaster Life Support. Similar in theory to the American Heart Association’s Advanced Cardiac Life Support course, ADLS is “focused on the development of ‘hands on’ skills” that “allows the provider to apply the knowledge” in disaster situations, according to the College of Public Health’s Institute for Health Management and Mass Destruction Defense.
Rocky Vista, the paper said, is the only medical school in the country including ADLS as part of its overall curriculum. Who knew students would be exposed to the real-life event so close to home, so to speak?
Of Rocky Vista’s students, “They are trained to respond in every type of disaster,” Durbin added. In fact, he said, the July 20 shooting was incorporated into the ADLS course.
“It made these medical students very aware that these kinds of things can happen anywhere,” he said. “The events of this tragedy have helped to drive that home.”
Strange coincidences surrounding the Aurora attack
The Rocky Vista course was only one of a number of strange coincidences regarding the attack.
For example, the shootings – which took place during the opening weekend premier of “Dark Knight Rises,” the newest Batman film – seemed to mirror a 1986 Batman comic, which featured a crazed character pulling out a handgun and gunning down three victims.
The strip ends with the media blaming Batman for inspiring the shootings, though he had nothing to do with them.
In a report analyzing the similarity, Angus Hogwarth of The Scotsman newspaper noted other parallels. One, he notes, involves the video game Arkham City, which is Batman-themed and takes place in an old abandoned movie theater, the Monarch, outside of which being where the parents of Bruce Wayne (a billionaire loner who creates and becomes Batman) were slain.
Another shocking coincidence included a movie trailer that preceded “Dark Knight Rises” was a film called Gangster Squad, which features a number of gangsters coming from behind the screen to shoot up a theater.
Warner Bros. was forced to pull the trailer in desperation following the Aurora shootings.