Miami Beach Fire rescue delay investigated
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- Investigators are trying to determine what caused a fire rescue truck to take more than a half hour to reach the home of a 65-year-old man who was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived.
The patient's wife frantically called 911 as her husband lay dying in their Venetian Islands residence March 5, but police said, help took 31 minutes to arrive. The victim lived two miles away from the nearest fire rescue station.
"Currently the call is under investigation," said Miami Beach Fire Rescue Capt. Adonis Garcia, "from the time of dispatch and everything along the way, we're checking all the details out."
According to a Miami Beach Police report, the victim's wife called fire rescue at 9:05 a.m. on March 5. Her husband, who suffered from Crohn's Disease and diabetes, had fallen. The report states Miami Beach Fire Rescue 22, located at 2300 Pine Tree Drive, was dispatched at 9:12 a.m. Paramedics arrived on the scene at 9:36, and the victim was pronounced dead three minutes later.
A 7News reporter took the fire rescue truck's exact route, and even though he was stuck at a bridge for about five minutes, he arrived at the victim's residence in East Di Lido Drive 10 minutes later. A second reporter took eight minutes to drive the same route at night.
"If it turns out that there's someone that did something wrong here, certainly heads are going to roll," said Miami Beach Commissioner Ed Tobin. "What do you want me to say? It's a jaw-dropper," he added.
In an email the victim's wife sent to the Venetian Islands Homeowner's Association, she wrote, "I kept running back to my bedroom talking to my husband and back outside looking. I then called 911 again and asked them what was taking them so long!!"
The victim's wife goes to say that when the responding police officers asked paramedics the reason for their delay, they "were told they were stuck for a bridge!"
Regarding the alleged Miami Beach bridge delays, Garcia said, "If the bridge is up, does that add 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes? I don't know."
The exact cause of death has not been released. The investigation into the cause of the fire truck's delay is expected to wrap up in a matter of days. City officials said they will withhold judgment until the investigation is completed.
(Copyright 2013 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)