WASHINGTON (MyFoxDC) - The family of an elderly man who died after he suffered a heart attack across from a Washington, D.C. fire station broke their silence on Thursday. During a press conference, Medric Cecil Mills' family said they demand answers surrounding his death, and they called for action to be taken against those responsible.
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Attorney Karen Evans joined Mills' wife of 55 years, along with their daughter-- who was with him when he died-- and their son. She said D.C. Fire & EMS crews refused to help Mills when he collapsed-- despite please from his daughter and witnesses at the scene.
Mills worked for the D.C. Parks and Recreation Department. Evans said it's especially tragic that emergency personnel failed to come to the aid of someone who gave so much to a city he loved. She called his death "truly a tragedy.
"What happened here could happen to anyone," Evans said, adding that his death should be seen as a call to arms. "Change must come. Real change."
During the news conference, Evans cited previous investigations into D.C. Fire & EMS, citing cases that date back to 2007 involving negligence and poor treatment.
"Enough is enough. It is time for real reform," Evans said.
The Mills family is calling for D.C. city officials to change the current law to allow the District to truly be held accountable. They are also interested in partnering with other families and organizations who share their goal, and anyone interested in joining them is asked to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mills' son told reporters his father was more than just the man who collapsed outside the fire station across from the Brentwood Village Shopping Center. He was a husband, father, grandfather, veteran, friend and role model to many-- including many people who were strangers to him.
Mills' son said his family appreciates the support they've received from the community so far, and also thanked the Metropolitan Police officer who helped his sister on the day his father died by waving down an ambulance and traveling with her to the hospital.
He said it was "extremely painful to think he would still be with us if he had been given proper care by firefighters."
Mills son said his father was clearly in medical distress, and bystanders were screaming to firefighters for help.
"When a medical emergency happened on their doorstep, they ignored us."
Now, Mills said his family demands answers from D.C. Fire & EMS, and they want someone to take responsibility for what happened. He called it a public safety issue, and said his family calls for the naming and firing of all officials and employees who were involved in his father's tragic death.
The Mills family will hold a vigil in his memory on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Brentwood Village Shopping Center where he collapsed.
Earlier this week, FOX 5 spoke with D.C. fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe who called the response regretful and tragic.