Fire Chief: Broward Captain Didn't Think She Could Let Anybody Save Dying Kids
Coral Springs, FL – The deputy fire chief of Coral Springs released a special report on Thursday that detailed exactly how the incident commander at the Parkland school shooting prevented paramedics from getting to victims.
The incident report from the Feb. 14 massacre that left 17 students and faculty dead, and another 17 wounded, showed the Coral Spring Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief Michael McNally asked six times for permission to send in specialized teams of police officers and paramedics to rescue students, the Miami Herald reported.
And all six times, the incident commander – Broward Sheriff’s Captain Jan Jordan – told him no because she needed to get permission.
Statements included in the incident report demonstrate she did not have the authority to actually act as the incident commander on the scene of the shooting.
Chief McNally wanted to deploy Rescue Task Force (RTF) teams that consisted of three paramedics and three to four officers to try and retrieve the wounded students who lay dying inside the 1200 building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Middle School, according to the Miami Herald.
"The [BSO] incident commander advised me, 'She would have to check,’” he wrote in the incident report detailing the day of the shooting. “After several minutes, I requested once again the need to deploy RTF elements into the scene to ... initiate treatment as soon as possible. Once again, the incident commander expressed that she 'would have to check before approving this request.’”
Capt. Jordan refused to allow Coral Springs paramedics, desperate to help, into the school building even after the shooter had been arrested a mile away from the school, the Miami Herald reported.
While it cannot be definitively known if lives would have been saved by allowing the RTF teams to enter, there were 34 gunshot victims inside the freshman building who were bleeding out quickly and needed medical attention as fast as possible.
RTF teams are trained to enter an “active shooter” situation before the suspect has been neutralized, by working in a team with law enforcement officers, the Miami Herald reported.
"I’m not saying the [RTFs] would have made a difference and I’m not saying they wouldn’t have made a difference, but it would have been more medics and more hands helping out," Coral Springs Fire Chief Frank Babinec said in an interview Thursday.
Instead of sending extra paramedics into the scene, police brought injured victims to a medical staging area hastily assembled nearby.
Chief McNally, in his report, claimed the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) command post was “severely dysfunctional,” the Miami Herald reported.
"The command post was inundated with too many people and made it impossible to establish and function," Chief McNally wrote.
The police dispatch log obtained by FOX News showed police received a call at 2:23 p.m. from a female student reporting shots fired. More calls came in at 2:25 p.m. and 2:26 p.m. that identified the shooting location as “THE 1200 BUILDING,” also known as the freshman building.
At 2:26:56 p.m., the shooter was still firing, according to police who had arrived on the scene. “UNITS ADV SHOTS FIRED” the log read.
Responding officers still didn’t know where the shooter was at 2:29 p.m.
At 2:32 p.m. the dispatch log showed that the commanding officer on the scene – Capt. Jordan - had ordered officers on the scene to set up a perimeter around the school.
A few minutes later, the shooter’s location was still unknown. But at 2:34:48 p.m., Capt. Jordan gave the order to stage on the Sawgrass side of the building, according to the dispatch log.
At 2:38 p.m., the medivac advised dispatch it wasn’t launching until the shooter was in custody.
Finally, at 2:47 p.m., 26 minutes after the shooter began his killing spree that left 17 students and faculty dead, and another 14 wounded, the SWAT team entered the school building.
That was 15 minutes after the incident commander gave the order to stage, rather than sending first responders into the school to try to stop the rampage and save the dying.
Capt. Jordan and Sheriff Scott Israel, specifically, have been the subject of intense criticism for the poor handling of the entire scene at the Parkland school shooting.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association held a vote of “no confidence” on Sheriff Israel on April 26, and has asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to step in and suspend him.