The Orlando Fire Department had been working on a plan to respond to a mass shooting. It had even purchased vests filled with tourniquets and special needles to relieve bleeding in the chest. But at the time of the Pulse nightclub shooting, the plan had already sputtered and the vests sat untouched.
A small team of paramedics is quietly transforming community health in Manatee County, scheduling house calls and building relationships with patients who would otherwise be frequent visitors to emergency rooms and regularly calling 911.
Gunfire could still be heard from the Pulse nightclub when the first paramedic-firefighters arrived — but they never got inside, instead treating wounded patrons across the street in a bagel shop parking lot.
With nearly unanimous backing, the Florida Senate has approved a bill that would prevent the release of personal information about financial-services investigators, paramedics and emergency-medical technicians.