Maybe 911 Should Have Called 911

What do you do when 911 doesn’t or can’t help you? New Yorker Robert Davis called 911 twice to report his wife was suffering from severe chest pains, but by the time help arrived about an hour and a half later, it was too late–his wife had died of a heart attack. The attack occurred during the December blizzard that seriously impacted New York City, but the weather conditions were not cited as a deterrent to getting aid to Davis and his wife, Claire Reed. It took the ambulance only 3 minutes to reach Reed, but it took 911 operators some 97 minutes to alert the ambulance to the call. Robert Davis plans to files a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

Though weather did not delay medical help from reaching Reed, the city’s emergency operators were bombarded by calls. In fact, there were some 1,300 emergency calls piled up. Mayor Bloomberg was not around during the storm, and city officials did not do a great job dealing with the blizzard. The Chief of Emergency Medical Services was demoted, though that is probably not much consolation for Davis.