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EMS chief describes efforts to save boy

A lifelong Virginia Beach resident, Edwards says he has "never heard or seen anything like this before."  

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia (CNN) -- The shark attack that led to 10-year-old David Peltier's death early Sunday morning shocked the community of Virginia Beach, both for its severity and rarity in the area. Bruce Edwards, the city's director of Emergency Medical Services, talked Sunday with CNN's Stephen Frazier about the attack and the attempts to save Peltier's life.

FRAZIER: Can you fill us in on how [Peltier's father] brought his son ashore?

EDWARDS: Apparently he was able to hit the shark a number of times, and then the shark released the boy. He was able to get him up on his surfboard and bring him ashore.

FRAZIER: What do you make of this attack which, as the mayor pointed out, is so rare there? What might have brought the shark in so close to shore?

Witnesses describe shark attack that killed boy in Virginia Beach. From affiliate WAVY-TV. (September 2)

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CNN's Mark Potter reports on a program that familiarizes people with the docile nurse sharks and demystify sharks in general (July 17)

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Peltier's neighbor and family friend talks about the young victim.
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EDWARDS: We have no idea, Stephen. This is such an anomaly. I've lived here all my life and I have never heard or seen anything like this before. We're not exactly sure.

FRAZIER: They were talking in Florida -- in New Smyrna Beach -- they were talking about sharks coming in after bait fish. Is there a run of fish that comes close to shore at dusk?

EDWARDS: I'm told by the curator of the Virginia Marine Sciences Museum that, when [authorities] did a fly over this morning [inspecting the water near where the attack occurred], they did see some fish in schools -- which is a normal occurrence, this time of year particularly.

FRAZIER: It was such a devastating injury. What did your people do when they first confronted David's injuries?

EDWARDS: When our [Emergency Medical Services] units arrived, they found the boy in the care of the lifeguards, who are the guards guarding the part of the beach just south of this particular location. They were applying first aid measures for controlling the bleeding.

The boy was then immediately placed in the back of the ambulance and rushed to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, our trauma level two hospital here, [with EMS workers] providing advanced life support to him en route to that facility.

FRAZIER: And I guess your major concern was the amount of blood he was losing?

EDWARDS: That's correct.

FRAZIER: And what can you do other than just add more blood?

EDWARDS: There are certain things that can be done. The most important thing is to control bleeding. We can replace fluids, but there is nothing more important than rapid transport in those particular situations -- and that's what we did.

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