ALLEN, Texas — One month after the mass shooting at the Allen Premium Outlets, a 66-page post-incident analysis released by the City of Allen Fire Department details medical responders’ immediate actions in the wake of the chaotic scene developing at the shopping mall.
Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd said that compiling an accurate report along these lines was a matter of combing through GPS records, interviews and communications with multiple departments.
“We wanted to make sure all of it was released at one time, so that it was completely transparent about our medical response,” said Boyd.
The chief himself was among those who responded to the scene on May 6.
“It was something I had never experienced in the 27 years that I’ve been doing this job,” he said.
While Boyd said that his department has trained for mass casualty incidents and active shooter situations, actually facing the deadliest shooting in the City of Allen’s history was something else entirely.
The report clearly details that from the start as, within seconds of shots firing at the Allen Premium Outlets, dispatch was flooded with calls. Based on the information shared by those witnesses, authorities knew there were multiple victims.
The first call about shots fired at Allen Premium Outlets came in at 3:36 p.m. Within a minute, Allen’s first medic unit was assigned to the case and dispatch had noted the incident in its records as a “mass shooting”.
Within two minutes of that first call, that first medic response to the shooting was en route to the scene. Within three minutes, a second medic team was assigned to the incident and also en route. Within four minutes, a fire engine was also on the way.
But, Boyd said, the scope of threat was not immediately clear as first-responders arrived at the outlet mall.
“The possibility of a second shooter — there was still a threat of that,” Boyd said. “And that’s how we were operating.”
Boyd said that police officers who had arrived on the scene first were already stopping the bleeding for many patients as medics pulled up.
In order to keep firefighters and paramedics safe, the City of Allen is trained to form Rescue Task Forces (RTFs) on the scene. This means police and paramedics work together so they can provide care while a threat may still exist.
At 3:49 pm, at RTF team designated as Allen Medic 1 reached the first patient. At 3:53 pm, the first patient was on the way to the hospital. at 3:56 p.m., that first patient arrived at the hospital.
Chief Boyd said first responders did everything they could.
“Every recoverable victim was saved,” he said. “Those are tough decisions that the paramedics made as they were triaging the patients and deciding who they were going to be able to provide care for and who weren’t.”
Boyd said that’s often the most difficult part of a first-responder’s job — knowing that some people will not survive their injuries no matter how much they might try to save them.
At 3:58 p.m., an RTF team designated Allen Medic 2 was with a patient, and by 3:59 p.m., that team and patient were on the way to the hospital, too.
By 3:59 p.m., Plano medics and engines were en route to the scene. A minute later, McKinney medics were assigned to the mall, as well.
At 4:01 p.m., Allen Medic 2 arrived at the hospital with its patients.
Mutual aid provided to Allen medics included responders from Plano, McKinney, Fairview, Lucas, Prosper, Frisco and Princeton.
That the Allen Premium Outlets is a large area with multiple entrances made its rescue efforts complicated — but, Boyd said, those who arrived to help the victims were unfazed.
“They went into a situation that could potentially be dangerous,” Boyd said, “but they didn’t hesitate.”
Boyd said he is grateful for the collaboration his department had with others to provide as many resources as possible for the mass shooting.
By 4:03 p.m., the RTF team designated Allen Medic 3 was on the way to the hospital with a patient. At the same time, a patient with a gunshot wound to the leg and shoulder was placed in a squad car for police to transport as well. In the same area, a high priority patient needed an ambulance to take them to the hospital, too.
At 4:07 p.m., an RTF team designated Allen Medic 5 was on the way to the hospital with a patient. At 4:10 p.m., the RTF team designated McKinney Medic 6 was on the way to the hospital with a patient of its own.
Also at 4:10 p.m., Frisco responders were en route to the mall too — with a mass casualty van.
The log continues in detail.
Within 50 minutes, all gunshot victims who could be helped were on the way to the emergency room.
But, Boyd said, some people were so severely injured, they could not be saved. Still, he said he’s proud of the way first-responders operated in this incident. There was no hesitation and no delay, he said, even when the threat wasn’t yet cleared.
Still, proud as Boyd was, the biggest thought going through his head on May 6 was one of dismay.
Said Boyd: “I hoped it would never happen.”
You can read the full 66-page post-incident analysis below.