DCFD: Crew misses dispatch; Patient dies
Family: Woman Dies After Waiting For Ambulance
Officials: Crew Members Did Not Hear Dispatch
POSTED: 12:42 am EDT April 19, 2006
UPDATED: 5:52 am EDT April 19, 2006
WASHINGTON -- A 39-year-old woman's family says she died after waiting more than an hour for an ambulance, and a fire official says crew members did not hear the dispatch.
Cassandra Bailey, 39, was waiting for an ambulance at the Capitol Hill Dialysis Center on N Street Southeast on March 14, where she went there three times a week for dialysis, according to Antonio Evans, a friend, and Brenda Bailey, Cassandra's sister.
Brenda Bailey and Evans said they arrived at 5:25 p.m. and were told that an ambulance had been called. When the ambulance did not come, the family said, a worker at the center called again.
"She said, 'I have to complain because it's been over an hour since I've called for them, and they haven't arrived yet,'" Evans said.
The family said that more than an hour went by before a fire truck and EMT workers finally arrived, followed by an ambulance, but Bailey died minutes after arriving at the Washington Hospital Center.
Fire officials admit that mistakes were made, NBC 4 reported.
"Apparently, the crew members did not hear the dispatch. Clearly, the dispatch was made. For whatever reason, they didn't hear it," said Alan Etters, of D.C. Fire and EMS.
The department said that changes have been made to ensure that ambulances are dispatched properly. An investigation continues.
Bailey's family members said they want assurances that a situation of this kind will not happen again.
"If the ambulance had gotten there, say, when I got there, I think she would still be here in her place," Brenda Bailey said.
There is no word on how long the internal fire department investigation will take.