A Pendleton man estimates he was one of around a hundred other off-duty first responders helping the wounded at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas Sunday night.
Kevin Anderson, National Communications Director for American Medical Response, says he immediately jumped into action.
While many people thought the first sound sounds of gunfire were fireworks, Anderson says he knew otherwise.
“My wife Elaine had said, ‘No, I thought it was fireworks,’ but it was too fast for fireworks,” Anderson said.
FOX 12 spoke to Elaine's son, Ryan Lyle, on Monday. He recounted Sunday's night first chaotic call from his mother.
“Oh, I was frightened. They all got separated at that time. She said Kevin had run off and he started helping people get to the ambulances," Lyle said.
Kevin Anderson says the first responders found each other and sprung into action as a team, performing CPR on the wounded and moving them out of harm’s way.
“We were literally putting people on garbage cans and rolling them out on garbage cans, putting them on the steel barriers and taking them out of barriers or we were just grabbing them,” Anderson said.
“He has a good way of calming people down, taking control. So I knew if he was on scene he’d be able to take command of the scene. Do what Kevin does best and give directions," said Marc Kilman-Burnham, one of Anderson’s coworkers for the last 20 years.
Anderson says after making sure his family was safe, he returned back inside the venue another nine or 10 times, but couldn’t pinpoint where the bullets were flying from.
“I never saw muzzle flashes coming from Mandalay Bay. I never saw bullets hitting the ground,” Anderson said.
That is, until they watched a video his wife took. Bullets are shown hitting the grass, feet from her position in the field.
“My heroes were the police officers that breached that room because they saved us all. Ten times braver than anything I did,” Anderson said.
He says helping is in his blood. Despite staying when he could have run, he doesn’t feel like a hero.
“I’m enjoying a cup of coffee this morning when 59 other people and families aren’t," said Anderson. "So my perspective is I do feel incredibly lucky and grateful and blessed I get to see my family.”
Anderson also tells FOX 12 he and his wife helped an off-duty police officer and his fiancee Sunday night who were both shot.
Michael Gracia was shot in the head. Summer Clyburn was shot in the back.
Anderson says he and other rescuers carried them to the street. He says his wife keeps in touch with the couple and they learned Gracia took his first steps on Wednesday. That couple is going to be okay.
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