A Tim Hortons asthma attack incident in Canada has the company reviewing its policies after employees refused to let a boy having medical emergency call 911.
The incident happened Sunday at a restaurant in London, Ontario. A teenager at the Tim Hortons had an asthma attack and asked store employees if he could call 911 for an ambulance. They refused.
To make matters worse, when paramedics finally did arrive to help the boy having an asthma attack, Tim Hortons employees wouldn’t let them come through an exit-only door.
“He was visibly in distress,” Kali Sproat, who used her cellphone to call 911, told CNews.
“The employee asked, ‘What do you want?’ kind of rudely. He said ‘Help. Phone.’ But she told him the phones weren’t for customers — there was a pay phone across the street.”
The employees were not only rude, but they didn’t seem to want to offer the boy suffering the asthma attack any kind of help, Sproat said.
“They didn’t ask if he needed help. The whole time, not one of them came out from behind the counter to see if he was OK,” she said.
Company officials had a different account of the Tim Hortons asthma attack incident, the National Post noted. Company spokeswoman Michelle Robichaud said that while the young man did ask for a phone, he didn’t indicate to employees that he was suffering any medical distress.
Robichaud added that the employee went to get a manger while the customer called 911. She said Tim Hortons employees looked over the boy having the asthma attack until paramedics arrived.
Robichaud added that Tim Hortons will use the asthma attack incident as an opportunity to teach emergency response protocol to staff.
Eventually paramedics were able to get into the Tim Hortons for the boy having an asthma attack, and he was taken to a hospital.