Fla. EMS agencies said they were delayed in school shooting response

Sources said some of the EMS teams were told they could not enter the school when they requested access


By EMS1 Staff

PARKLAND, Fla. — Officials said EMS teams who responded to the Florida high school shooting were told they could not enter the school when they requested access.

FOX News reported that when some of the EMS crews asked to be allowed inside, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office ordered them to not go inside, according to two separate sources.

Officials said EMS teams who responded to the Florida high school shooting were told they could not enter the school when they requested access. (Photo/AP)
Officials said EMS teams who responded to the Florida high school shooting were told they could not enter the school when they requested access. (Photo/AP)

“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,” a Florida official said.

“When you have a police agency saying we don’t want you going in, that’s a problem,” another official said. “The training since Columbine has been [that] first responders, police go in immediately with paramedics.”

According to multiple sources, EMS providers were treating victims outside after officers brought them out of the school. A fire official said that’s just how it happens “sometimes,” but an EMS provider was concerned that it could be harmful to the victims.

Officials confirmed that the response appears to have gone against training.

“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. It’s my understanding that it didn’t happen right away,” a high-ranking fire official said. “There was a delay.”

Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department Fire Administration Division Chief Mike Moser said it was not appropriate for EMS providers to enter at the time they requested, since the shooter’s location was unknown.

“Decisions cannot be made in a vacuum. All of the variables must be taken into consideration before a rescue task force can be enabled,” Chief Moser said. “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.”

“Everything I was trained on mass casualty events said they did the wrong thing,” an EMS provider told WSVN reporter Brian Entin. “The response every time was, law enforcement did not clear the scene and would not allow medical personnel in. I would hypothesize I could have saved lives. I can’t say for sure.”

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said the response will undergo a “full investigation.”

“I don’t think some people were being honest and we’re going to investigate this in Florida and the right thing will be done.”

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