Unprepared and Overwhelmed

Issue 1 and Volume 14.

While most of what I normally write is directly related to the fire service community, we urge you, in this case, to share, forward, or copy and paste the below report and related information so that local school and law enforcement officials can be aware and learn from these details. 

As you will read there is so much that we in the fire-EMS service can learn from these details as well, but our success is based upon the preparedness of law enforcement, school leaders, and us. 

This first link is a media analysis of the commission report on the school shootings at Stoneman-Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, near Fort Lauderdale & Palm Beach. The link includes audio, video, radio traffic & 9-1-1 calls. 

The second link is the entire report developed by the independent commission. Released earlier this month it strongly concludes that the law enforcement agency in charge displayed significant deficiencies in training, command and individual performance in their response to the shooting.

The commission further recommended that the sheriff’s office conduct an internal review of the performance of seven deputies who showed up, heard shots, and failed to take steps to engage the shooter. 

The report also recommends an extensive overhaul of school security measures, including mandating lockdown training for staff and creating safe areas in classrooms called “hard corners.”

The media analysis and report are documents that must be shared with your local school and law enforcement. I have observed that some school officials tend to insulate themselves from the bad news, or outside” pressure, but this information provides an outstanding opportunity to be proactive. 

Clearly no school official or police chief wants to ever deal with this kind of situation, but as you will read they were woefully unprepared at numerous levels. But these documents provide one heck of an opportunity to learn. It’s an opportunity to take the report and use it as a template to compare to your community’s preparedness. 

Simply put, community members, elected officials, taxpayers, teachers, parents, relatives, and others must ask the questions as identified in these documents. Local officials (including school boards and law enforcement) must look at each of the points in the report and determine where your community schools fit in and make the changes as applicable. 

“Unprepared and Overwhelmed” SunSentinel

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, Initial Report


Firefighter Nation:
Active Shooter at Florida High School, at least 17 Dead
911 Problems in Florida School Shooting

Full (Law Enforcement) Audio For Parkland School Shooting Response, CBS Miami

Please take time to forward this to your school board, school superintendent, and law enforcement leadership. The hope is that they will appreciate your efforts and that you urge them to use every recommendation in the report to compare it to their schools, so that the 17 people killed in Florida didn’t die in vain.

Take Care-

Related Resources
5 Active Shooter Preparedness Questions with former FBI Special Agent Tom Veivia
IACP Law Enforcement Policy Center, Active Shooter
Ready.gov Active Shooter
Campus Safety, A School Emergency Kit Checklist