Parkland, FL – An emergency medical responder who was one of the first to arrive at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre on Feb. 14 said that medical teams were forced to remain outside of the school as 17 people were slaughtered, even though they begged to rush to the victims’ aid.
The unnamed “seasoned” first responder spoke to a WSVN reporter on Saturday night, on the condition that his name be withheld, because he feared he would be fired from his job if his identity was known.
“We were asking to go in. Asking the scene commander to go in,” the medic told WSVN. “The response every time was law enforcement did not clear the scene and would not allow medical personnel in.”
“I would have risked my life to go in. I was eager to,” he said.
The medic explained that the overall response to the shooting conflicted with everything he had been taught about mass casualty events.
“You don’t wait for the scene to be cleared. You go in immediately armed,” he explained. “You can’t leave the victims laying there.”
He also argued that more could have been done to bring the victims to safety, even if the medical personnel were not allowed to enter.
“All they had to do was drag them out of the building. And we could have started medical care,” he said. “I would hypothesize I could have saved lives.”
“They should have been more aggressive about getting the victims out,” he said.
The medic expressed extreme frustration that he wasn’t given clearance to help more people.
“I think they made the decision they thought was right at the time,” he said. “But I don’t think it was the right one.”
According to FOX News, a source who was aware of the situation said that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office was that agency that had ordered some of the emergency medical crews to stay outside of the school.
“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 told FOX News.
“When you have a police agency saying we don’t want you going in, that’s a problem,” an additional Florida official said. “The training since Columbine has been [that] first responders, police go in immediately with paramedics.”
A high-ranking Florida fire official agreed.
“We’re trained to go in behind the advanced team to engage the shooter. We’re trained to get in behind them with a security contingent of law enforcement,” the fire official told FOX News.
The information about police prohibiting emergency medical personnel from taking action at the scene was just one more in a long list of questionable judgment calls being attributed to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel in the wake of the horrific school shooting.
On Monday, Broward County deputies told FOX News that they were prohibited from entering the building during the incident unless they had their bodycams activated, but they didn’t have bodycams.
Florida Governor Rick Scott and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi were calling for a thorough investigation of Sheriff Israel’s handling of the active-shooter incident.
The attorney general told FOX News that some members of the sheriff’s officer weren’t honest with her or the governor in their recounting of the events that unfolded at the Parkland high school.
“I don’t think some people were honest, and we’re going to investigate this situation in Florida and the right thing will be done,” Bondi said.