Route 91 Reunion and Vegas Strong Resiliency Center

Start Date: 09/29/2019


Hope was contacted by Terri Keener to respond to the Vegas Strong Resiliency center for the Route 91 two year reunion on Sept 30th. We were also asked to attend events on October 1st in connection with the second anniversary of the shooting. In addition we were requested to attend a firefighter/family member peer support event on Saturday, September 28th in Henderson due to a fire fighter suicide . Star and I arrived to Henderson at 3:00 pm and were joined by Stephanie Berger at 5:00 pm. Our teams were recognized by several cal fire peer support members we have worked with from Montecito and Santa Rosa deployments. The debrief and follow up was very emotional as this had just happened. Everyone interacted with the dogs and were thankful we were there. The Route 91 reunion took place on Sunday the 29th at the Hard Rock Casino in the pool area. We were assigned a cabana with the Vegas Resiliency Center counselors. Stephanie and I arrived at 11:30 am and left at 7 pm. The reunion was well attended. This was a small and crowded venue with bands playing very loudly all day. We were able to move around the pool area and areas set up for remembrance walls and memorials. Despite being crowded and very loud our dogs did great work interacting with survivors. Several people showed me the dogs cards from last years reunion- and it was very special to be shown Star cards! Overall the reunion was upbeat and at the same time very emotional. Several people shared their stories with us and the dogs. It was a long and very fulfilling day. On Monday the 30th, Star and I were asked by our POC to visit the Driven Neuro Recovery Center in Las Vegas. We arrived at 1:30 and visited with stroke, spinal and brain injury patients doing physical therapy work. The staff and patients were amazing people and enjoyed visiting with Star. The director told me they were thinking of setting up dog therapy visits and after our visit she was definitely going to pursue that! Grace and Cathleen got in late Monday night. "1 October" is how the locals refer to the shooting. All four teams were present at the 6:30 am Sunrise Remembrance Ceremony at the Clark County Government Center. Several government officials, as well as fire and police, spoke. One member had lost a son . Several hundred people attended including families of victims. The dogs interacted with many people at the service. Afterwards we were asked to attend a Wellness Event where several services were being made available to help with coping with grief and stress. At 11:00 am we were asked to send dogs to The Healing Garden where the city of Las Vegas had built a beautiful area with 58 trees representing each person who had lost their lives. This was the main gathering area of the family members . Stephanie and I went over and were joined by Grace and Cathleen at 1:00 pm after the wellness fair ended. The dogs interacted with many people here. We left at 3:00 pm to give the dogs a break before returning at 7:30 pm to the Healing Gardens to be with the the families and friends. At 10 :05 pm, the actual time of the shooting, the mayor did the "Reading of the Names" of each person that was lost . Our dogs worked very hard from 7:30 pm -11:30 pm this evening. So many people reached out to get a pet or a hug. It is not possible to put into words the number of interactions and the emotions and words said on this day. We were thanked so many times for being there, as always we said it was an honor.

Agency: Vegas Strong Resiliency Center

Stephanie Berger and Berlin 9/28-10/1, Grace Chen and Bagel , Cathleen Mcmurran and Fargo9/30-10/2