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Heroic

Intern Stayed by Giffords' Side

The people who tackled the shooter weren’t the only ones who acted bravely at the Safeway massacre. After hearing gunfire Daniel Hernandez, five days into his internship at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ office, ran toward the commotion. He saw people lying on the ground and started checking pulses. Then he saw Giffords lying on the sidewalk and bleeding. Hernandez, a trained nurse and junior at the University of Arizona, pulled Giffords into his lap and applied pressure to the entry wound, holding her upright so she didn’t choke on blood. At the same time, he instructed a bystander on how to help Giffords’ district director, Ron Barber, who was lying wounded nearby. "Make sure you stay with Gabby. Make sure you help Gabby,” Barber told Hernandez. And he did, staying with her until the paramedics arrived and then holding her hand on the ambulance ride to the hospital. "You just have to be calm and collected," Hernandez said. "You do no good to anyone if you have a breakdown ... It was probably not the best idea to run toward the gunshots, but people needed help."

January 9, 2011 2:26 AM