MOSUL, Iraq -- A few miles from the front line, Americans treat critically injured Iraqis.
One woman was hit by shrapnel from an ISIS mortar, and she’s losing blood quickly. They need to stop it to save her life.
The next ambulance brings an Iraqi policeman; He has a gunshot wound to his shoulder.
Kyle Fleher is normally a critical care nurse in Santa Barbara, California. He has taken vacation to come to the war zone.
“It’s scary and the adrenaline is at its max and its peak, but everything fades away when we get to do what we’re trained to do,” he said.
“Is it taking its toll on you?” asked CBS News foreign correspondent Holly Williams.
“It is,” Fleher said. “It’s traumatizing the things that I’ve seen. Seeing a lifeless girl, holding her in my hands and having to see, to pronounce her dead.”
They’re called New York City Medics and they’ve been sending teams to natural disasters for over a decade. But this is the first time they’ve come to an armed conflict.
They’re on call 24 hours because this war never stops
This time it’s an Iraqi soldier, hit in the eye by shrapnel.
Another man has serious brain injuries, and there’s nothing they can do. Kathy Bequary, the group’s team leader, held his hand as he passed away.
“I don’t know if he knew I was there, knew that I was holding his hand or felt anything, but I didn’t want him to be alone,” Bequary said.
Seeing this war has changed her, she told Williams.
“They’re moms and dad and daughter and sons and brothers. And I just wish the world could really understand that the way I do. You know?” she said.