FARGO — They are the calls no one wants to hear. With the recent shootings involving children in the past week, these types of calls weigh heavily on first responders like Don Martin with F-M Ambulance.
"It's not just gunshots, it's anything that involves the child or anything in particular, but children typically hit us more (...) strongly," Martin said.
This year, F-M ambulance has responded to four calls involving gunshot wounds for those under the age of 18, and we are only four months into the year. During all of 2020, F-M Ambulance responded to five gunshot calls involving children.
Those children can end up at the Sanford Trauma Center. Deb Syverson is a director at the trauma center, and she says it can take weeks to years for children to recover, physically and mentally.
"We are there to help them," Syverson said. "We are there to support the families, we are there to, have the resources to make sure that these kids can make it through their gunshot wound or their trauma that they are experiencing."
According to gunviolencearchives.org, more than 1,400 children were killed by guns in the U.S. during 2020, and more than 3,700 were injured.
Syverson says the hospital had eight pediatric patients under 18 with gunshot wounds come into the center from throughout the region, and four already this year.
It's a trend that everyone is hoping doesn't continue.