Communications & Dispatch, News

Fire Official Responds to Alleged Ambulance Delay in San Francisco Airline Crash

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco fire official says passengers who called 911 after an Asiana Airlines plane crashed at the airport may not have immediately seen ambulances at the scene because the vehicles were dispatched to a nearby staging area.

Audio: Asiana Flight Passengers Reportedly Begged 911 for Help

Fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge says that in multi-casualty accidents such as the Asiana crash, officials do not want to create more chaos at the scene by having ambulances swarm the area. So they are sent to a staging area instead, with first responders assessing people’s needs and sending them to ambulances as needed.

Passengers aboard Asiana told 911 dispatchers that ambulances were slow to respond.

Talmadge says that within 18 minutes of receiving word of the crash, San Francisco officials had dispatched five ambulances and more than a dozen other rescue vehicles.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.