D.C. Fire and EMS Investigating Crews' Delayed Response

Two ambulance crews may have actually discussed the transport amongst themselves while a 93-year-old injured woman waited for help


 
 

Audrey Barnes, MyFoxDC | | Friday, August 17, 2012


VIDEOS

Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Crews Under Investigation for Emergency Response

Switching out two ambulances caused a 15 minute delay.
more >





WASHINGTON (MyFoxDC) -- Could an ambulance switch have kept an elderly woman with a head injury from getting to the hospital in the quickest way possible?

That is what D.C. Fire and EMS officials are investigating after learning that two ambulance crews may have actually discussed the transport amongst themselves while a 93-year-old woman who was injured in a fall waited for help.

"We dispatch our closest unit to the emergency," says Assistant Chief For Operations Timothy Gerhart.

But instead of driving directly to the woman's home, sources tell FOX 5 Ambulance 6 drove past her house to Ambulance 29's station and insisted they transport her instead.

"Ambulance 6 was dispatched, and currently we're looking into why Ambulance 29 was consequently dispatched to the emergency," Gerhart says.

For ambulances to switch assignments like that, EMS officials say the Office of Unified Communications would need to be notified, as well as records updated, among other things. All of that adds to the response time.

Sources say switching out those two ambulances caused a 15 minute delay in getting this 93-year-old woman with a head injury to the hospital. Fortunately, she survived and is now recovering at home after a five-day hospital stay.

New York Times Editor David Rosenbaum wasn't so lucky. He was injured in a robbery, but the EMS crew misdiagnosed him, and transported him to the hospital as a low priority patient. He died two days later.

D.C. Fire and EMS has been under fire ever since to revamp its system so that seriously injured people get to the hospital in less than seven minutes.

"We expect our emergency vehicles to get on the scene as quickly as possible when they're dispatched to a response, and that's why we're investigating it very actively and we will take appropriate action," Gerhart says.

Gerhart says GPS tracking data from the ambulances is key, but he says it's too soon to say if any discrepancies were uncovered.

It is also too early to say if the delayed response has hampered the 93-year-old woman's recovery.
 





D.C. Crews Under Investigation for Emergency Response


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

REMSA Programs Helps Reduce Hospital Visits

Community paramedic effort goes into service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

City Official Challenges San Francisco Fire Chief

Ambulance response times among problems noted by city supervisor.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Crash

Victoria ambulance collides with civilian vehicle.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Medics Ditch Pants for Kilts

“Real men do wear kilts.”
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

CO Leak at Illinois School

Girard incident sends over 130 to hospitals.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On September 2014

Who gets thumbs up this month?
More >


Multimedia Thumb

NYC Sept. 11 Anniversary

View images from the ceremony at Ground Zero.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >