Saturday, June 2, 2018

Sheriff's Office Kept Paramedics from Helping Dying Children

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. The “it” in the sentence refers to the Broward County Sheriff’s department response to the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.

Given that high school children have used the massacre as an impetus to begin a campaign against guns, it is worth underscoring, yet again, the multiple failures of the sheriff’s department. Keep in mind, Sheriff Scott Israel received a vote of no confidence from his department. And yet, he still has his job. Why has the media not been disgracing him and calling for his ouster? It must be more politically expedient to blame it on the NRA.

To its great credit, the New York Times reported yesterday on yet another instance of dereliction by the sheriff’s department. Not from Israel himself, but from a leader in his department, a captain who refused to allow paramedics to enter the school while children lay dying.

Read it:

While students and teachers lay gravely wounded inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a Fire Department official outside was begging to send in paramedics.

In the chaos immediately after the shooting rampage on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Fla., the Coral Springs Fire Department’s deputy chief, Michael McNally, repeatedly asked to dispatch specialized teams of paramedics and police officers to treat victims.

But his requests, according to a report the department released on Thursday, were denied by a captain with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office who was overseeing the law enforcement response.

Chief McNally wrote that he asked six times to send in the groups, but that Capt. Jan Jordan kept offering the same response: She “would have to check before approving this request.”

One hates to have to mention this, but why was it that a captain needed to check before approving? We already know that cowardly on-duty deputy Scot Peterson ran for cover when the shooting started. Now we see that a female captain was incapable of making a decision. Are you telling me that a captain had no discretion in allowing in paramedics? It feels like weakness, the kind that cares more with self-protection than with helping others. Could it be that she was hired to fill a diversity quota? Will that be a consolation to parents of children who lay bleeding in the building?

The Times continues:

The two-page report by Chief McNally, which outlines his interactions with the authorities outside the school, was the latest account of frustration and bewilderment over the law enforcement response.

After he arrived at the school, he offered four times to send in paramedics while the police were watching security footage to find the gunman, identified as Nikolas Cruz, a former student. The deputy chief told Captain Jordan that the teams — which each consist of three to four police officers and at least three paramedics — were specially trained to treat victims in an active shooter situation and would enter only the areas that the police had searched.

He offered two more times after the police discovered the video delay and saw that the gunman had escaped unnoticed from the building. The deputy chief was told to wait. “Once again, the incident commander advised, ‘She would have to check and let me know,’” he wrote in the report.

Excellent story from the Times. Kudos for good reporting.


Anonymous said...

According to the Miami Herald (3/7), she ignored the wounded and dying "in accordance with training".

Sam L. said...

Broward County needs to replace its county managers.