A District of Columbia man was stunned to find he is being billed for an ambulance that failed to arrive in time to save his ailing father.
Durand Ford Jr. claims that he recently received the $780.85 bill from District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Service Department, despite the fact that his father died before the ambulance arrived.
An article by NBC News writes that on the morning of January 1 Ford Jr. called for emergency assistance when his father, Durand Ford Sr., was having difficulty breathing. Sadly, the 71-year-old-father passed away during the 30-plus minutes that it took the dispatched ambulance to arrive.
The grieving son experienced shock and dismay at being saddled with charges for a service that failed:
“I feel angry. Upset. I’m disturbed that we even received this bill.”
Records indicate that 911 received the call concerning Ford, Sr. at 1:25 am on New Year’s Day. A fire truck arrived on scene a short nine minutes later because an ambulance was unavailable at the time.
Prince George’s County Fire and EMS records show that the fire department failed to request county medical assistance until 1:47 am. Once notified, an ambulance from Oxon Hill was dispatched to Ford’s Southeast Washington residence, arriving at 1:58 am.
Unfortunately, Durand Ford Sr. was unable to survive the wait and died before the ambulance arrived. It is a situation that still infuriates his son:
“We’re still grieving about the situation. [We're] very angry about what happened and the service we did not receive from the district.”
According to The Examiner, the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Service Department has not publicly commented on the incident or why the Ford family was billed for the ambulance.
Yvette Alexander, a District of Columbia Councilwoman who represents Ward 7, plans to assist the Fords through the situation:
“Based on my experience in similar circumstances, District of Columbia Fire & EMS has not billed. This seems quite unusual, and I will help the family resolve this matter.”
Do you think it’s fair for a man and his family to be billed for an ambulance that failed to save a loved one’s life?