NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) yesterday defended its response to a mass shooting on Jerome Avenue last week, insisting that it followed standard protocol in the wake of the deadly incident.
It was responding to allegations made by a woman who appeared as a guest on ILTV’s Beyond the Headlines with host Clint Watson, who claimed emergency services personnel (EMS) failed to assist a victim who appeared to be alive on the scene.
Six men were shot dead in the bloody massacre, while a 19-year-old woman and a two-year-old girl were taken to hospital with serious injuries.
A graphic video of the aftermath made the rounds on social media, and some bystanders suggested victims could have been saved with quicker response from EMS.
In a statement yesterday, the PHA said it “clarifies that the National Emergency Medical Services (NEMS) response to the mass shooting on Thursday, 15 April 2021, was executed in line with mass casualty response requirements”.
“The following steps as required by National Emergency Medical Services were followed: a scene size-up was conducted and backup ambulances were requested,” the PHA said.
“Triage took place immediately on arrival of the EMTs (emergency medical technician) to determine viability and order of treatment and transport. The first arriving team comprised two EMT — one went to assess the female and child and the other went to assess the male victims in the car.
“All of the males were pulseless. One had agonal gasps which is not true breathing but a brainstem reflex that occurs in cardiac arrest.
“The female and the child displayed vital signs and were transported to hospital.
“The six males were pronounced dead at the scene.
“The EMS team that was dispatched to the scene of the mass shooting was debriefed prior to being released from work.”
Government officials, religious figures and social activists have all spoken out in strong condemnation of the violence, while Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle has denied allegations that the victims were “set up” by police.