Los Angeles Times/Reuters, January 13, 2011
The head of the trauma team that fought to save the lives of Arizona shooting victims on Saturday may lack swagger, but not confidence. When word came that a gunman had opened fire at a Tucson shopping mall and that victims including the local Congresswoman were on the way to his hospital, University Medical Center Trauma Unit chief Peter Rhee's reaction was understated. "I thought my weekend was going to be busy," said Rhee, a combat veteran who worked in frontline units in Afghanistan and started the first surgical unit in Ramadi, Iraq. "I was in the Navy for 24 years and I trained for nothing but battlefield casualties," said the surgeon, hair still clipped short in military style, who leads the team handling major injuries and has built a system to respond to major disasters. "We can take anything they throw at us from a civilian standpoint," he said.