“I could’ve saved lives,” said the first responder.
In the two weeks since the tragic shooting occurred in Parkland, Florida, we have learned that cops cowered outside instead of helping, the police and FBI were all warned on multiple occasions that the alleged shooter, Nikolas Cruz, told people he was going to shoot up the school, and nearly two dozen people reported Cruz for death threats. Now, however, we are learning that not only did the cops cower in fear instead of saving lives, but they told first responders not to help.
“Everything I was trained on mass casualty events says they did the wrong thing,” said the first responder, who spoke with WSVN Miami News 7 reporter Brian Entin on the condition of anonymity.
“You don’t wait for the scene to be cleared. You go in immediately armed. Retrieve the victims. You can’t leave the victims laying there,” he explained.
But they could not go in.
As the man explained to WSVN, he was telling officials that he needed to go in, but they told him not to.
“We were asking to go in. Asking the scene commander to go in. Why are we all standing around? Why are we not having patients to treat? Why are we not going into the building and retrieving these kids? The response every time was law enforcement did not clear the scene and would not allow medical personnel in,” he said.
Arguably, the death toll could’ve been far less had emergency medical personnel been allowed in as some of the victims lay bleeding for nearly an hour. Indeed, the first responder agrees.
“I would hypothesize I could have saved lives. I can’t say for sure,” he said, adding, “I would have risked my life to go in. I was eager to.”
“I was frustrated the entire time I was there,” said the first responder, explaining the disheartening scene.
“Rapid evacuation of the wounded. All they had to do was drag them out of the building. And we could have started medical care,” he said.
The first responder said that police made that decision at the time but noted that it was the wrong decision. “I don’t think it was the right one,” he said. “They should have been more aggressive about getting the victims out.”
“Can’t say for sure if the people were dead inside or if they could have helped,” he added.
"Everything I was trained on mass casualty events says they did the wrong thing." I spoke with a seasoned emergency medical responder who was one of the first to the Stoneman shooting. He doesn't want me using his name for fear he will get fired. Here are his exact quotes. @wsvn pic.twitter.com/t9trsOEaek— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) February 24, 2018
He then explained that he saw at least one victim who had to wait 45 minutes before getting loaded into an ambulance. “Frustrating” doesn’t even begin to describe the level of anger and pain the parents and families of the victims must feel knowing that their child laid bleeding out as cops told paramedics not to help them.
It wasn’t just paramedics who were told to stand down either. As FOX News host Laura Ingraham revealed this week, police were told to stand down too unless they had on body cameras—as if a body camera somehow makes a police officer better at stopping a school shooter.
“Broward County sheriff’s deputies were supposedly told not to enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School unless they had body cameras on, which they did not have,” reported The Daily Wire. “Ingraham also revealed that police ‘lost radio transmissions’ during the shooting, which also happened at the mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale airport shooting last year, which is also in Broward County.”
As more details continue to emerge about this tragic incident, the ones who are seemingly most responsible for the death toll, other than the shooter, seem to be the ones who claim to keep people safe. It appears in this instance, however, that they did the exact opposite.