CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – The Coral Springs Fire and Police Departments were honored at City Hall Wednesday for their response to last year's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
The first responders were given the Dave Sanders Rescue Task Force Award, named after Coach Dave Sanders, who lost his life at Columbine High School while saving the lives of his students.
The departments were honored for their outstanding training and preparedness, which were used in their response to the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting.
The departments later gave preparedness presentations to assist those responding to mass casualty incidents.
Police Chief Clyde Parry and Fire Chief Frank Babinec said they were surprised and humbled by the recognition.
"This is a very solemn award, meaning that we get a lot of other awards for other things that we're very happy to get. This is an award we wish we never would have even been considered for," Babinec said.
"The training was truly the key to handling these situations. Not just this one. I can give you a number of other situations where the training just truly helped us," Parry said.
Authorities said the tragedy and now this honor highlight the importance of preparedness and the need for their Stop the Bleed training and training on things like defibrillators. Information on those trainings can be found on the Coral Springs city website.