Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Medics say they were stopped from entering Parkland, Fla., high school to treat shooting victims

June 1, 2018
Report from Coral Springs, Fla., fire department says Broward County Sheriff's officials prevented medics from entering Marjory Stoneman Douglas High to tend to the wounded.

Paramedics asked several times for permission to go inside a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School earlier this year to treat students wounded by a school shooter, but were stopped by a sheriff's commander who repeatedly stated that "she would have to check."

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Coral Springs Deputy Chief Michael McNally wrote in a report that he kept asking for permission for additional medics to go into rooms of the Parkland, Fla., high school that had already been searched and found to be safe, to quickly extract and treat the wounded. But, he was told by the Broward County sheriff’s commander that she “would have to check before approving this request.”

Even after authorities saw surveillance footage showing the shooter had fled the building, those Coral Springs fire-rescue forces were not permitted in. By the time the whole building was deemed safe for them to enter, everyone had already been brought out by police or was dead.

Seventeen people were killed on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when a former student opened fire with an semi-automatic rifle. Nikolas Cruz, 19, has been charged with murder.

The report released by Coral Springs fire officials states the Broward Sheriff’s Office failed to set up an effective central command post, contributing to the confusion and frustration among the medics.

Coral Springs officials say medics were eager to get inside the school to help, but were thwarted by the sheriff’s office Parkland commander, Jan Jordan. McNally says he asked six times for permission to enter “and my requests were denied.”

An apparent argument ensued over the need for more medics, especially in safer areas that had already been searched and no bombs or gunman found.

The report also shows that the safety precautions that kept many paramedics out of the building also restricted the ability to airlift the wounded to area hospitals.

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