Tosa's police, fire and Froedtert were ready when duty called

All assisted in Brookfield shooting case

Oct. 26, 2012

Wauwatosa responded in several ways to the shooting incident at the Azana Spa in Brookfield at about 11 a.m. Sunday.

The Wauwatosa Police Department sent eight officers and three detectives to initial response, and later sent its special response team - SWAT team - said Lt. Gerald Witkowski. The Fire Department had 11 personnel at the site, including Assistant Chief Scott Erke and Assistant Chief Jim Case. Two medical units and a fire engine were on hand, Case said. A report of smoke inside the building could have signaled a fire, though it turned out to be not serious.

No transport was handled by the Tosa Fire Department, but when the units responded, the number of victims was unknown, he said.

Case said he and Erke assisted the Brookfield Police Department in the command area. The Fire Department was on hand for about five hours.

Three women died in the shooting, along with the shooter, Radcliffe Haughton, who killed himself. Four women were injured, and all were taken to Froedtert Hospital in the medical complex off Watertown Plank Road.

Kathy Bagemihl, vice president of Froedtert, said they were alerted to the incident at 11 a.m. and that the victims were transported to the hospital in a short period of time, each in a separate EMS truck, and all four had arrived by noon.

The women were triaged in a trauma center inside the emergency entry, before being moved to surgery or to intensive care or a hospital room, depending on the case. Bagemihl said some of the victims did go to surgery.

For Froedtert, four victims at a time is not an overwhelming number; enough staff were on hand to treat the victims simultaneously

"As a Level 1 Trauma Center, we're equipped to handle more than that at any one time. We actually didn't have to call in any additional staff. As a Level 1 Trauma Center, we have enough trauma surgeons and support staff on call in the hospital 24 hours a day, that we were able to handle it," she said.

Still, the hospital was ready to call in more, because it wasn't clear how many more patients might be coming, she said.

Being ready every day of the year, 24 hours a day, is partially what it means to be a Level 1 Trauma Center, she said.

Law enforcement was on hand at the hospital, Bagemihl said, but she wouldn't comment on whether the victims were interviewed. The hospital, which is on County Grounds, is served by the Sheriff's Department.

"The Tosa police department really helped us a lot, as well, so that was wonderful," she said.

Bagemihl said she and other administrative team members were present to run the incident command center, coordinating EMS groups, working with law enforcement and other outreach.

She said the hospital was in a "mass casualty situation," working constantly, for about 5-1/2 hours.


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