The school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, once again thrust the work of first responders into the spotlight. On February 14, a former student entered the school and shot 34 people – 17 of them fatally. Still, many people at the school during the attack were lucky, surviving due to the quick thinking of their fellow students, staff and the first responders who rushed to the scene.

One such lucky survivor was Madeleine Wilford, known to her friends as Maddy. Wilford suffered multiple gunshot wounds during the attack and likely would have died were it not for first responder Lt. Laz Ojeda.

The situation was dire; Wilford's gunshot wounds were incredibly severe, her lung had collapsed and she was in danger of drowning in her own blood. Three officers had to seal her chest and move her to a patient transport area, where Lt. Ojeda came upon her.

Lt. Ojeda's concern over a Wilford's age helped save her life.Lt. Ojeda's concern over a Wilford's age helped save her life.

Ojeda had two options. The first was to follow policy regarding child patients. This idea gave him pause. The earlier officers estimated Wilford was 15, and protocol dictated all child patients would be sent to a hospital 30 miles away from the scene. Ojeda had doubts about her estimated age.

His second option was to take her to Broward Health North, a facility focused on urgent care that was only 12 miles away. Ojeda had to decide fast, so he shook her to see if she would respond. Wilford became alert on Ojeda's second try, telling him she was 17 and confirming his suspicions. Per The Washington Post, he took her to the closest hospital, where she underwent several surgeries that took 40 hours in total.

"She is very lucky," trauma surgeon Igor Nichiporenko told reporters during the press conference, according to The Washington Post. "Because we're talking about large-caliber bullets penetrating through the chest and the abdomen."

Such quick thinking is required of first responders, especially during mass shooting events. It is this mindset that helps them save as many lives as possible.