The Broward County Sheriff’s Department has taken a massive amount of criticism for its actions both before and during the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl. and the hits just keep on coming. New information suggests that Broward County deputies may have actively stopped paramedics from entering the school in the minutes after the shooting.
Fox News cites three Florida law enforcement sources who say that EMS teams requested permission to enter the school. The Broward County Sheriff’s office, which had control of the crime scene, denied permission to the first responders.
“What’s going to come out is, in the communications on several circumstances, there was the request to enter... the request was denied from Broward County,” an unnamed Florida official said.
“When you have a police agency saying we don’t want you going in, that’s a problem,” another Florida official said. “The training since Columbine has been [that] first responders, police go in immediately with paramedics.”
Broward County responded to Fox’s queries with an email that said the entire incident was under investigation and “investigators will not be rushed or asked to jump to conclusions.”
Fox also cites “high-ranking sources” who say they police officers and deputies brought victims out to be treated by EMS workers rather than EMS workers attending to them inside the school. Standard procedure for treating the injured includes not moving seriously injured victims. EMS workers are trained to follow the initial wave of police. In the Parkland shooting, deputies are reported to have waited outside rather than entering the school to engage the shooter.
“If they’re not going in then we’re not going in. We’re trained to go in with them,” a fire official said.
Brian Entin, a reporter for the Miami Fox News affiliate, reported that a first responder claims, “everything I was trained on mass casualty events says they did the wrong thing.” The responder said that one shooting victim did not get out to an ambulance for 45 minutes.
The delay in admitting EMS to the scene was reportedly due to law enforcement’s uncertainty about the status of the shooter. Police were uncertain whether the shooter was dead, had left the scene or was still present.
“I would hypothesize that I could have saved lives,” the first responder said. “I can’t say for sure.”
Mike Moser, the Division Chief of Fire Administration for Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department, said, “Decisions cannot be made in a vacuum. All of the variables must be taken into consideration before a rescue task force can be enabled.”
“It is possible that those that are upset about not being allowed inside, simply do not have all of the information that our law-enforcement partners had in making their decision,” he added.
The anonymous first responder disagrees. “I would have risked my life to go in,” he says. “I was eager to. I was frustrated the entire time I was there.”
More details about the Broward County Sheriff Department’s response to the shooting are likely to emerge as the investigation continues.
Originally published on The Resurgent