Nearly 20 years since Columbine I am distraught that we aren’t better prepared to survive an active shooter incident at a school. The Parkland commission released a lengthy and comprehensive report of the February 14, 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. A single gunman entered the school campus carrying a cased rifle. He walked into a building, uncased his semi-automatic rifle and began shooting. Fourteen students and three staff members were killed. Seventeen others were wounded.
It is hard to read the commission’s report or this interactive digital feature, Unprepared and Overwhelmed, from the South Florida Sun Sentinel as a paramedic and not through my lens as a parent. Twenty years after Columbine and six years after Sandy Hook, with dozens of school shootings in between, it’s remarkable how much more there is to do to prevent school shootings and minimize the loss of life should a shooter make it into the building. I doubt the commission’s findings are unique to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, a single SRO or some of the MSD staff. It’s reasonable, to me, that we – parents, as well as responders – should expect more from public safety officials and school officials.
After reviewing the commission’s report, I wrote about the five things that stood out to me for EMS1: