It's the only Level 1 Trauma hospital from Sacramento to Los Angeles, and it's right here in Fresno. Over 3,000 patients come through the doors of Community Regional Medical Center every year. Many patients have devastating injuries that require special doctors and equipment to treat them. Patients come from all over the valley, like the Bakersfield man who was flown in after shrapnel from a building demolition injured his legs. Others are closer to the hospital, like the victim of Monday's moving accident at Fulton Mall. Cell phone video shows the aftermath of a 1,200 pound safe falling from a truck onto a mover, crushing the man's legs.
"Stay calm brother, don't worry. Everything is going to be ok. 9-1-1's on its way," a good samaritan, Ivan Martinez, told the victim.
An ambulance took the victim to CRMC. By ground, patients come through the emergency room doors into the triage area. By air they land on one of three helicopter pads. A special elevator bypasses all the floors, getting patients quickly into one of these trauma bays. Special equipment and doctors qualify CRMC as a Level 1 Trauma hospital.
"We have to have a trauma surgeon in the hospital 24-7. Levels 2 through 4 don't have to have that," said Lynn Bennink, the Trauma Program Director.
Bennink says it takes special people to care for critically wounded patients. The average victim is in their 20's or 30's.
"We're seeing horrible things happen to good people, but what really keeps us going every day are the miracles we see every day," said Bennink.
Martinez is praying a miracle heals the man injured in the moving accident.
"I've been thinking about him and his family. I hope that everything is ok with him, as much as it can be, and we're all rooting for for him," said Martinez.
The mover is listed in critical condition at CRMC. The Bakersfield man has been upgraded to fair condition.