COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – Two Sandpoint Police officers are recovering at Kootenai Health after they were both shot twice by a suspect.
Leaders of the trauma center at Kootenai Health said they do not get many gunshot wounds but they are prepared for anything.
Kootenai Health is a level two trauma center. They get seriously wounded patients from all over North Idaho. They deal with significant injuries like gunshots, burns and crush injuries. They do not get gunshots very often. To get two serious gunshots victims in less than a week is out of the ordinary.
In 2017, the hospital took on more than 900 trauma cases. Just six of those were gunshot wounds. That number includes the two Bonner county deputies who were shot and the shooter.
Kootenai Health officials said while they are equipped to deal with gunshot wounds, it is never easy to see a member of law enforcement on the surgery table.
“We work hand in fans with these law enforcement officers and we consider them part of our family. Some of our nurses are married to law enforcement officers, they being patients, they come in all the time and we see them so we consider ourselves part of their family so emotionally it's a little bit than to actually perform the care,” Luke Emerson with Kootenai Health Trauma Services said.
Kootenai Health's staff have diverse backgrounds, some staff trained in the military or lived in cities with more gunshot cases. They said that helps them train for these types of situations. So far this year, the trauma center here at Kootenai Health has had seven cases related to firearms.