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Parkland Chaos Hampered Rescuers, Fire Department Tapes Show

Image:  Parkland Chaos Hampered Rescuers, Fire Department Tapes Show
An officer tells anxious family members to move back as SWAT team members swarmed in and locked down the school building in Parkland, Florida. Police were warning the shooter was still at large even as ambulances converged on the scene and emergency workers appeared to be treating those wounded. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

By    |   Friday, 13 April 2018 08:57 AM

Chaos hampered Parkland paramedics and other rescuers as they rushed to help shooting victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in February, Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department audio recordings revealed.

The audio, released to news outlets after requests by CNN and local newspapers, showed first responders scrambling to the scene through clogged streets while the whereabouts of the shooter was still unknown.

"This is going to be a big event," a fire department commander told a dispatcher, per CNN. "And see if I can have somebody contact all the area hospitals. Just let them know that we have an incident and we may be sending patients in all directions, so they should start preparing for it."

But mass confusion hampered efforts, as police cars, ambulances and fire units rushing to the scene blocked one another, CNN reported.

"It's an absolute mess, absolutely nuts," a rescuer told a dispatcher, per CNN. "It is completely closed down. PD needs to close down everything from Sawgrass (Expressway) north because there is no movement there whatsoever."

The audio showed many rescuers feared the shooter could strike again as they attempted to help the injured, the Miami Herald reported.

"The shooter is not down. The shooter is not down," some warned on the department's communications channel, per the Herald. "I need you to make sure that you guys are secured behind vehicles."

A request for air rescue was denied because the alleged shooter could not be found, The Sun Sentinel reported.

"They will not fly until they confirm that the active shooter is down," one dispatch stated, per the Sun Sentinel.

What rescuers did not know at the time was that former student Nikolas Cruz, the accused shooter, had already fled the campus, reportedly by mingling with fleeing students, the Herald said.

"The suspect may still be on the third floor of the building," one fire-rescue dispatcher said, per the Herald. "Just to advise."

The Sun Sentinel said there was some concern about a backpack that could have had an explosive device in it, prompting a request for a bomb squad, and there was an additional report of shots fired inside a school building made after the alleged gunman had reportedly fled.

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Chaos hampered Parkland paramedics and other rescuers as they rushed to help shooting victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in February, Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department audio recordings revealed.
parkland, fire department, tapes, rescue, chaos
369
2018-57-13
Friday, 13 April 2018 08:57 AM
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