WASHINGTON — In the latest of a series of mistakes that have plagued D.C.’s emergency responders, a man died Sunday of a heart attack after a fire truck called to his house left without him.
Truck 17 arrived at Jackson’s house on 60th Street at 4:02 p.m. — about five or six minutes after the call, Fox 5 says. The Washington Post says the truck was based about a mile and a half away.Albert Jackson, 67, went into cardiac arrest at his house in Northeast just before 4 p.m. Sunday. His family began CPR and called 911,
Fire department spokesman Timothy J. Wilson tells The Post that the firefighters arrived to see police with “what they presumed to be their patient on the ground” on the street near the house.
Fox 5 says the firefighters were told by the police that medical assistance wasn’t required.
But Wilson tells The Post, “they had assumed the call they saw was the call they were on” — for Jackson’s heart attack.
“That was not the actual call,” he said.
An ambulance and another fire truck were on the way, The Post reports. But when Truck 17 told dispatch that Metropolitan police were “on scene. They are not needed,” the other fire personnel were effectively waved off.
Jackson’s family had to call 911 again. An ambulance and fire truck were dispatched, and got there at 4:16 p.m. — about 19 minutes after the original call, Fox 5 estimates.
Jackson was taken to a hospital, but died there.
Asked whether a faster response would have saved her husband’s life, Gloria Jackson told Fox 5, “Maybe. I’m not sure. I’ll say maybe.”
D.C. Fire Chief Gregory Dean expressed condolences to the family in a statement, The Post reports.
“Going forward, the Department will require units to repeat the address to the dispatcher upon their arrival at a scene to ensure they are at the correct location,” Dean said.
The department and the Office of Unified Communications also are working out a way for units to “have more information on the call they are being dispatched to,” the statement reportedly adds.