Nurse sought help on Garlic Fest 911 tape

Recording captures chaos of shooting aftermath

Nick McFarland of Gilroy thanks nurse Kim Thompson whose first aid may have saved his life at the Gilroy Garlic Festival July 28. Credit: KGO-TV/ABC7

Kim Thompson, a Gilroy nurse who works in Morgan Hill, was running for her life on July 28, after hearing gunshots at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Then she saw Nick McFarland, also of Gilroy, sitting in the parking lot, bleeding from a leg wound. She stopped to tighten an apron tourniquet and apply pressure to the wound—first aid that saved his life. (McFarland was later released from the hospital and is recovering.)

Then Thompson called 911. Her call, later released by Santa Clara County, was one of many calls to emergency dispatchers that fateful evening. A recording of Thompson’s call would be broadcast on media across the U.S. in the days that followed.

The following transcript of that three-minute, 22-second call, with some editing for clarity, captures the danger, anxiety, confusion, life-saving heroism and calm professionalism exhibited in those first few minutes of the mass shooting at Christmas Hill Park that would see four people killed, including the gunman, and 13 injured.

Gilroy, CA, 5:49pm July 28.

Do not hang up, Kim.

OK.

Paramedic emergency, what’s the address of the emergency? CHQ with the transfer. I have Kim on the line. She’s at Miller and Uvas Parkway, and she’s with a man who has been shot. Ma’am?

Yes, hi.

Ma’am? OK what’s your name?

Kim.

Kim, OK. We’ve got everybody on the way, OK? They’re all on their way to you, OK?

Yeah.

Absolutely. They’re going to help him, OK?  

His family’s OK but he got shot.

OK, I understand that. How, how many? Kim, how many people are hurt?

Um, I only currently see one. He ran out. The shootings were very far away and he just ran, but he left his family. It was right at the tent, by his .. where he was. And he got out and he ran.

Alright. OK, no problem.

I don’t know.

OK. We’ve got help coming, for, for him. How old is he?

Uh, 26.

OK. Alright. And is he awake?

Grazed on the right. He’s awake, alert, oriented. I’m a nurse. He got grazed in the right hip. And he has a gunshot wound to the right leg.

OK.
He’s bleeding with a tourniquet, and I think it was an apron. And we applied pressure.
OK, hang on, Kim, Hang on. Slow down, OK? Slow down, alright? Um, is the assailant still nearby?

They’re taking every victim down. They’re taking in the white truck. We need an ambulance, fast.

We understand, OK? We understand . We have somebody going to that specific location where you are.

They’re going to take people down.

Kim, Kim.  Listen Kim, listen to me.

The cops. We need ambulances.

We have everyone on the way. The ambulances are on the way.

Getting on a golf cart. This guy is getting on a golf cart. We need an ambulance, ‘cause it’s for victims.

Kim?

No, take him in here.

Are you, are you speaking to the police?
There’s a body out. They just carried a body out.

OK, where are they taking it?

They’re doing CPR on the body.

OK,  I understand. We’ve got the ambulances coming, OK? We have them coming.

They’re doing CPR.

OK, that’s good. They’re trying to help them.

So this guy that you’re with, Kim, is there any serious bleeding?

He’s doing CPR on her. We’re leaving, we’re leaving the scene.

OK, we’re sending everybody now, OK?

OK.

Alright? Everyone’s on the way.

We need ambulances. Just please, we need help.

Kim, they’re on the way, OK? Just stay calm so you can help them.

I’m, I’m going home, thank you, Thank you.

I know. Just stay in a safe spot, OK? Stay in a safe spot.

I’m going home. I’m ready, I’m ready. Thank you, thank you.

OK, just take a deep breath, OK?

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