LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The 1 October shooting turned out to be one of the darkest nights for those on the frontlines — the first responders and the Clark County Coroner’s Office.
Coroner John Fudenberg who was in charge of the office when the shooting happened recently retired after 30 years of service with the county.
On the night of the shooting, Fudenberg suddenly found himself overseeing the worst mass shooting in the U.S. modern history — 58 people died that night.
“I think it’s made me appreciate life more,” he said. “I think it’s made me focus on taking care of myself and my mental health, which is something that I think people in the first responder community tend to ignore.”
In the wake of the massacre, agencies from all over the valley provided comfort and assistance to families of the victims and the coroner’s office was at the site of the shooting making sure bodies were properly handled.
Fudenberg says emotions can resurface on anniversaries such as 1 October and for those who work in the coroner’s office it can be an emotional experience.
“We serve the next of kin and all of the family members of people who have died tragically and suddenly. That’s a very emotional process. I give the staff of the coroner’s office so much credit for the job that they do every day,” he said.
The coroner’s office implemented wellness programs, including trauma-recovery yoga and meditation to help coroner personnel cope.
The coroner’s office has gone through a difficult time in recent months as they deal with the deaths associated with COVID-19.