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Remembering Route 91: Police, doctors and survivors turn to life of advocacy

 Las Vegas
AP Photo/John Locher, File

FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2017 file photo, a Las Vegas police officer stands by a blocked off area near the Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas.

The October 1 massacre on the Las Vegas Strip in 2017 brought to Nevada the horror of mass shootings that so many other cities and states had already experienced. 

People wanted more gun safety laws. Police changed tactics, focusing on how to make big events, which are a major part of Southern Nevada’s tourist economy, safer. 

And doctors who dealt with the hundreds of casualties have been sharing their knowledge in other cities, and doing what research they can related to gun safety.  

This is part three of our series focusing on life five years after the shooting. And you can read more about some of the people featured in our upcoming issue of Desert Companion magazine.  

State of Nevada senior producer Kristen Kidman talked to former Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Lieutenant Ray Spencer, who was running toward the chaos as people ran away from the gunfire. 

Then, the Las Vegas medical community received worldwide attention for the work it did providing life-saving care to hundreds of people at once.  Now University Medical Center trauma surgeon Dr. Deborah Kuhls and her colleagues share the lessons they learned with other medical professionals.  

There are several events planned to commemorate the five-year anniversary of the Route 91 Harvest Festival tragedy.

In the morning, the county and Las Vegas police will host the 1 October Sunrise Remembrance. It will take place at 7:30 a.m. at the Clark County Ampitheater. After the ceremony, attendees can visit the rotunda for an exhibit exploring the community's grief and healing process.

The “ Remember Music Festival” is then starting at 1 p.m. at the Clark County Ampitheater. This is a fundraiser to support the permanent memorial. There is also a reading of the names ceremony at the  Healing Garden at 10:05 p.m., the time the shooting started on Oct. 1, 2017.  

For more events and details, visit  the Vegas Strong remembrance page.

For anyone interested, the  Stop the Bleed program offers free classes at multiple hospitals in Las Vegas.

If you were affected by the shooting and need support, the  Vegas Strong Resiliency Center is still offering mental health services and financial aid.

Ray Spencer, responding lieutenant, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department;  Deborah Kuhls, trauma surgeon, University Medical Center; Craig Nyman, Shae Turner, Tas Upright, survivors, 1 October mass shooting

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Kristen Kidman is a former senior producer at KNPR’s State of Nevada and is proud to be from Las Vegas.