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It's Coffee Break time! Hot Topic: Who Is Responsible for the Bill?

Welcome to Mom to Mom's Coffee Break Chat!

Durand Ford Jr, was billed $780 for ambulance services that were
too late in responding to a call for his father on New Years.
It was 30 minutes before an ambulance responded, only later to be discovered that the district was low staffed that night because over 50 firefighters called out sick for New Years Eve.

1. Do you think the district should have billed the family for ambulance services when the response time was 30 minutes and the caller died while waiting?
2. Do you think the family should have to pay the bill?
3. Was the district negligent in even allowing 50 firefighters to be off that night?


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by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 10:02 AM
Replies (21-30):
by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Fruit smoothie please

I think it should be waived an ambulance shouldn't take that long to get somewhere. I would definitely fight that
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Here is a little more on the story:

Durand Ford Jr. called 911 about 1:25 a.m. and begged for an ambulance, but there were no nearby ambulances available and Washington D.C. Fire & EMS had to request help from Prince George's County, Maryland.  However, Washington Fire and EMS didn't make that call for assistance until 1:47 a.m., 22 minutes after receiving Ford Jr.'s 911 call.  Within seconds after being called at 1:47 a.m., Prince George's County dispatched an ambulance, but by the time it arrived at 1:58 a.m., Ford Sr. was dead.

Based on this information, the delay was caused by dispatch not acting quickly enough.  That is a typical problem with 911 - they can be slow to resolve a situation in a timely manner.  Since this truly appears to be a system issue, then the bill should be paid by the Washington Fire and EMS. Also, the dispatcher on duty should lose their job.  


by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 12:33 PM
First, I need to be able to know why they called 911 to begin with and what his condition was. Would he have died anyway enroute? Would he have died in the hospital?

The ambulance rendered services, it should be paid for.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 12:34 PM

caramel frappe please

I think that if they didn't provide him services in time, it's bs that they should have to pay the bill. And it was negligence to allow that many firefighters to be off that night. 

by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 12:37 PM

I thought ambulances were free? In my town, they are. A lot of towns around here actually.  I don't think they should have to pay.

by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 1:02 PM

You still have to pay for services. People die. It happens. Its not the ambulance's fault.

I'd like a large hot vanilla coffee please.

Cafe MichelleP
by Platinum Member on Feb. 12, 2013 at 1:04 PM
1 mom liked this

Quoting la_bella_vita:

 No, no, yes

Chai Latte please

by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Reading the information given in the article (plus another article), my answers would be this:

1. No they shouldn't have been billed. Especially since it said that the company that billed them and the company who responded were different entities.
2. Well, I'm not sure. Even though it was a 30 minute response time, they did show up. Showing up costs gas, manpower, etc.
3. Again, not sure. I'm sure that the staff they had was their contigency plan for calloffs. So on one hand they are doing their best to provide staff. On the other, on NYE is when they would have had to of called off. I hope that the people who called off, if they couldn't prove they were really sick (such as a dr's note or ER report), would be reprimanded.

ETA: I would like a very large cup of coffee with half & half and sugar. :)

Cafe MichelleP
by Platinum Member on Feb. 12, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Irish coffee coming right up!

Quoting MelanieMans:

Irish coffee please.

I dont think any place that deals with emergencies like this should ever be low staffed and I think those fire fighters are very unproffesional for calling off work for something like new years. Emergency calls are made because thats what it emergency. 30 minutes is way to long to wait for an ambulance, so no, I dont think he should have to pay since they were in no hurry to help. It seems like a slap in the face to loose your father and then pay a large amount of money to people who didnt do anything.

by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 1:09 PM

if 50 called out sick, theres not much they can do that day, but if I was in charge I would have told each of them that I will need to see a doctors note. Because lots of people like to call out sick on days like that.

And if that was known beforehand I am sure most of them would have showed up for work and this wouldnt have been an issue. They would have been able to get there faster!

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