Man billed after father dies waiting for ambulance
Durand Ford, Jr. says the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Service Department has sent him a $780.85 bill for an ambulance that he called for his father early on the morning of Jan. 1.
Ford tells News4 that his father died waiting for that ambulance, after it took more than 30 minutes to arrive.
“I feel angry. Upset,” Ford said. “I’m disturbed that we even received this bill.”
Ford said he and his family called 911 in the early hours of New Year's Day because his father, 71-year-old Durand Ford, Sr. had trouble breathing.
According to records, the 911 call was made at 1:25 a.m. A DC fire truck arrived only nine minutes later, but an ambulance was unavailable. According to Prince George’s County Fire & EMS records, DC Fire did not call Prince George’s County for assistance until 1:47 a.m. One minute later, the county dispatched an ambulance from Oxon Hill to go to Ford’s home in Southeast Washington. It arrived at 1:58 a.m.
By then, Ford had died.
“We’re still grieving about the situation,” Ford, Jr. said. “[We’re] very angry about what happened and the service we did not receive from the district.”
DC Councilwoman Yvette Alexander, who represents the Fords in Ward 7, tells News4’s Shomari Stone, “Based on my experience in similar circumstances, DC Fire & EMS has not billed.”
“This seems quite unusual, and I will help the family resolve this matter,” Alexander continued.
DC Fire & EMS did not return News4’s request for comment.
I hope he doesn't have to pay, this really isn't right. He shouldn't pay for a service, as important as that one is, that did not show up in time. Especially when the result of them not being there on time lead to death.
The firemen could do NOTHING?
Also why was the bill THAT much? I think at most it's supposed to be 200.00, that's what they charged my grandma with.
Yeah that makes no sense. Fire usually has equipment for basic first aid. I don't know what it's like out in DC but out here the fire dept even has paramedics staffed. And I have a feeling the bill will go away. I think it might have been a mistake.
DC's EMS and rules regarding it are a local joke. I remember an instance of a bad car crash on Western Ave (the street which divides DC from Montgomery County) where the MoCo EMS showed up and were able to assist the injured parties on their side of the line, but were forbidden to help the person on the DC side who died waiting for the DC lot to show up. Another person on the DC side managed to crawl across the line and was helped.
Really glad that we have good, fast EMS service here, and it's free for MoCo residents.
EDIT: The DC police were at the scene, and would not allow the MoCo paramedics to help the dying man. And people wonder why I hate cops...
When people die you get all sorts of insensitive bills. It's best to just give them to your lawyer to take care of. I do agree that the bill will probably go away.
Yeah, because the residents of SE all have lawyers on their staffs. rolleyes SE and Oxon Hill are both ghettos.
It might not pertain to this case, but that's still what estate lawyers are for. If someone has drawn up a will, they have an estate lawyer. That's why this particular bill seems so cruel, but I guarantee you that anyone who has had a death in the family has had insensitive bills/statements, etc.
My grandparents house was strike by lighting a couple of years ago. They live on the county line and the firefighters were arguing over who should go out there for THIRTY minutes. But once someone did finally get out there, they said they couldn't open the water line becuase of the county difference.
By the time any water was able to get there and the firefighters' finally started helping, the fire had been burning for almost an hour. There was no hope of saving the house.
Thank god, my grandparents were aways and we were able to get our great-grandma out on our own.