Sunday, February 17, 2013

Ambulance never arrives, Veteran dies, family is billed

This past New Year's Eve was one of the worst nights of Durand Ford's life. That's the night his father died while waiting for an ambulance that never came.

Around 1 am, his father was having trouble breathing, so Durand called 911. The nearest fire station was just one mile from his house in DC --- at most, a 5 minute drive. Firefighters arrived in just ten minutes, but no ambulance.

He watched his father struggling to stay alive as they waited for Emergency Medical Services...and they waited, and they waited...

An ambulance had finally arrive about 40 minutes later, and it wasn't even from DC -- it had to come all they way from another state entirely. By the time it did arrive, his father was already dead.

So why did his father die waiting for an ambulance, when there's a fire station just a mile from their house? It turns out, that on New Year's Eve, nearly one third of DC's firefighters had called in sick... meaning, idle ambulances sat empty in fire stations.

That might be one reason why sometimes there are long response times for ambulances, firefighters and police --- in cities all over America. His father, a retired Air Force Veteran, was 72 years old; but he did not have to die on New Year's night.

Despite this, the DC Fire Department is charging his family $780 for an ambulance that was never sent. The DC fire department needs to see that it can't just let his father die --- and then bill his family for help that was never provided.

Please sign his petition, demanding that the DC Fire Department waive the $780 fee for an ambulance that never came to save his father.

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