An anonymous first responder spoke to a WSVN-TV reporter about what he saw when he arrived to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 — the day that 17 innocent people were murdered by a lone gunman.
The EMT, who was too scared to give his name, shared a jaw-dropping account that provides context to reports that have already established the botched response to the active shooter situation.
What did he say?
According to the first responder, everything about the response was completely botched.
“Everything I was trained on mass casualty events says they did the wrong thing,” he explained. “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.”
“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 to go in,” he added.
The EMS worker believes that if he and other medical responders were allowed to enter the building as soon as they arrived, they could have saved more lives. He explained he was willing to risk his life to save the lives of others and was very frustrated over the situation.
The EMS worker stressed that he believes law enforcement made the decision they thought was best at the time, but emphasized that he believes it was the wrong one.
“They should have been more aggressive about getting the victims out,” he said.
What does law enforcement say?
With allegations that the Broward County sheriff’s department botched the response to the shooting — including its deputy stationed at the school, in addition to three other sheriff deputies, not engaging the shooter and only standing outside behind cover — law enforcement is in full damage-control mode.
The Broward County sheriff’s office released a statement on Saturday in an attempt to dispel some stories surrounding their department’s response to the shooting. The department also urged they haven’t confirmed many of the stories being widely reported.
“It is more important for us to wait and let investigators get it right, even if some media outlets are getting it wrong,” the department claimed.
Still, it’s hard to ignore powerful statements from students who witnessed the deputies doing nothing.