Fla. paramedics say Orlando shooting brought them together

Eight Rural/Metro ambulances were dispatched to Pulse and transported 14 of the mass shooting victims

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A week after the Orlando nightclub mass shooting, paramedics who responded to the Pulse night club discussed the profound effect the incident had on Rural-Metro’s personnel.

Paramedics with Rural-Metro arrived at Pulse just after 2 a.m. on June 12, and within minutes were transporting patients to the hospital. 

The agency had a total of eight ambulances that transported 14 victims, reported WFTV9

Rural-Metro personnel speak to the press about the Orlando shooting.
Rural-Metro personnel speak to the press about the Orlando shooting. (Photo Courtesy Rural/Metro of Central Florida)

Paramedics said the tragedy united them on a professional level, but that many are still coping on a personal level. 

“This is something that sticks with you, and I can tell you that I’ve started to see unity even more than we had before within our department and outside the department with the other EMS agencies,” Larry Marshall of Rural-Metro said.

The agency recently trained for a mass casualty incident involving 550 patients and first responders from across central Florida. 

Although the agency trains for such incidents once a year, paramedics said the Pulse shooting was the worst they’ve ever seen.

“I really couldn’t tell you. You just go into almost robot mode. You know you have a job to do. You don’t think about anything else. It’s just, you just do it,” Lucas Slowik of Rural-Metro said. “You can’t take every single call with you. Otherwise it will eat you.”

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