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This is the latest story about the fallout from the New Year’s staffing shortage experienced by the DC Fire & EMS Department. This story of adding insult to death is reported by Shomari Stone at WRC-TV/NBC 4. Durand Ford Sr. died early New Year’s Day. It took 33 minutes to get an ambulance to his residence.
There has been a lot debated about this incident and what happened New Year’s Eve. Maybe I missed it, but in all the coverage I have yet to see anyone ask a question that jumped right out at me when I first saw the timeline of the event. If there were no DC ambulances or medic units available, why did the Office of Unified Communications (the 911 center) wait 23 minutes to request EMS from neighboring Prince George’s County? Maybe I’m just reading it wrong.
Durand Ford, Jr. says DC Fire & EMS has sent him a $780.85 bill for an ambulance that he called for his father early on the morning of January 1.
Ford tells News4 that his father died waiting for that ambulance, after it took more than 30 minutes to arrive.
“I feel angry. Upset,” Ford said. “I’m disturbed that we even received this bill.”
Ford said he and his family called 911 in the early hours of New Year’s Day because his father, 71-year-old Durand Ford, Sr. had trouble breathing.
According to records, the 911 call was made at 1:25 a.m. A DC fire truck arrived only nine minutes later, but an ambulance was unavailable. According to Prince George’s County Fire & EMS records, DC Fire did not call Prince George’s County for assistance until 1:47 a.m. One minute later, the county dispatched an ambulance from Oxon Hill to go to Ford’s home in Southeast Washington. It arrived at 1:58 a.m.
DC Fire & EMS did not return News4’s request for comment.
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Also on STATter911 …
- DC Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe says two recent news stories aren’t accurate. Sends out press releases on training academy sexual harassment & provides a timeline on New Year’s ambulance delay story. – February 22, 2013
- More DC news: Paramedic coverage in neighborhoods reduced to handle July 4th events. $12 million lawsuit over delayed New Year’s response. Fire truck breaks down on way to fire. Chief says he’s not resigning. – July 5, 2013
- Stabbing victim transported in DC fire truck New Year’s Eve. Ambulances & medic units not staffed. Lack of planning & high sick leave use cited. – January 2, 2013
- DC update: Chief & dep. mayor on hot seat. Ellerbe apologizes. 58 of 111 ambulances not operational. Firefighters union says fleet status is due to chief’s negligence. – March 28, 2013
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