Doctor says minutes matter in ambulance delay
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FORT MYERS - A Fort Myers doctor says a "glitch" that resulted in a Collier County ambulance delay could have been deadly.
Dr. Amy Wecker with Internal Medicine Associates of Fort Myers, an independent multi-specialty physician practice, says minutes matter in a life or death emergency.
Chaz Minard, 25, lay dying on his bed in his parent's home on Dec. 14. According to his father, he was vomiting and had fluids coming out of his mouth.
Six minutes after firefighters got the alarm, they arrived with sheriff deputies at the house on Coral Wood Drive in Naples. According to the report, firefighters found Chaz unconscious, not breathing and with no pulse.
What he needed was an ambulance. But one wouldn't arrive until 12 minutes after the family dialed 911, according to Chaz's father Charles, even though the closest one was approximately five minutes away.
Minard says EMS officials told him in a private meeting there was a "glitch" that occurred that resulted in an ambulance never being notified or dispatched.
By chance, the nearby Medic 42 ambulance station heard the call and responded "12 long minutes" later.
According to a report, medics were able to regain Chaz's pulse in the ambulance. The family took him off life support a week later because, they say, the hospital told them Chaz was brain dead and would not wake up.
Collier County EMS would only say they aim to get to a patient within eight minutes. They are investigating what happened.
A Fort Myers attorney says the family cannot sue the county.