UF Health deploys FEMORS staff in aftermath of Orlando shooting
Experts at UF Health were deployed to Orlando on Sunday to help identify the victims involved in the night club shooting.
It was 9:00 a.m. when the Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System or FEMORS received a devastating call from Orlando.
"The district nine medical examiners office requested assistance through the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management and the Florida Mortuary Response System," says Dr. Bruce Goldberger, a member or FEMORS.
A man entered a night club and opened fire.
"The information was possibly 12, that went to 20, then 30, then 40, so the scale of the operation ramped up for us very quickly," says Dr. Jason Byrd, the Commander of FEMORS.
After hearing about the attack, FEMORS deployed 40 members to help in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting.
"We had the first people on the ground in Orlando by noon, by approximately 3:30 p.m. we had limited capability to start doing victim interviews and to assume some of the call volume that was coming in to law enforcement and the area hospitals," says Dr. Byrd.
They were also asked by the medical examiners officer to help staff the morgue.
"We provided forensic pathologist, we provided autopsy technicians and dentist to help any identifications that may be needed," says Dr. Byrd.
FEMORS says their goal was trying to identify the victims as quickly as they could and to and get them back to their family.
"The medical examiner had desired for autopsies to be Tuesday afternoon so to be able to handle that case volume and meet the time that he wanted to be able to start releasing bodies that had been identified, you have to have supplemental resources of extra people in the autopsy suite," says Dr. Brrd.
FEMORS worked alongside law enforcement and the medical examiner using a finger print technology called quick print and photographs to help identify the victims.
FEMORS is part of the University of Florida "Maples Center for Forensic Medicine."
It was established in 2001 to provide rapid identification in a situation involving mass fatalities.