Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What do you think ?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What do you think ?

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...L&SECTION=HOME

    Sep 2, 3:43 PM EDT

    Fire chief: Actions leading to delayed 911 response 'inexcusable'

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- The city's fire chief said firefighters were late in arriving to the apartment of a man who had a heart attack because they left a fire station vacant without permission.

    Fire Chief John VanSolkema told The Grand Rapids Press for a Saturday story that the firefighters left the station unattended July 10 to pick up boots at a downtown fire station. That violates policy that says firefighters must ask for permission before leaving their area, he said.

    "That's inexcusable," VanSolkema said.

    Harold Plantenga, 77, was pronounced dead about 50 minutes after his wife called 911.

    The chief and firefighter's union officials dispute reports that firefighters never reached Plantenga. VanSolkema said firefighters from a different department performed CPR before paramedics arrived.

    But that contradicts documented response times, which show that paramedics arrived first, the newspaper said.

    Fire department union leaders and a city commissioner say drastic cuts in overtime have led to staffing shortages that contributed to the delayed response. A firefighter union official said leaving the station unattended is not unusual and is not as significant a factor as the chief suggests.

    Meanwhile, Mayor George Heartwell said he's asked city management to investigate.

    "Did it indeed have to do with staffing levels, or was there a management decision here that resulted in the vacation of a station, unnecessarily, when it should have been staffed?" Heartwell asked.

    VanSolkema said his department is investigating and has yet to determine whether any disciplinary action will be taken.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  • #2
    More info........

    911 response time questioned following man's death

    Updated: Sep 1, 2006 10:28 AM EDT

    The closest fire department is a mile and a half away.

    By ANNE SCHIEBER

    GRAND RAPIDS -- The Grand Rapids Fire Department is looking into the response time of a 911 call last month. Late Thursday afternoon, Deputy Fire Chief Jeff VanDellen answered media questions, as the chief is out of town on vacation.

    VanDellen said a seven minute response time was not acceptable, but denied it had anything to do with lower staffing levels.

    The call came in shortly after 7:30 a.m. July 10. Lois Plantinga called 911 to get help for her husband. Shortly after he woke up, he stopped breathing and was making unusual sounds.

    The closest fire department from the Briar Lanes apartment complex is at Leonard and Plymouth, just under a mile and a half away.

    At the time, the station was empty. The four men stationed there were downtown to replace wet gear for the firefighter who had the qualifications to drive the main engine.

    Deputy Chief VanDellen is not sure why all of the men left the station. He suggested there may have been other equipment issues that the crew wanted to address.

    The captain at the Leonard station says only one person on the squad was qualified to operate the fire engine that would have responded to the call. He says it would not have made a difference if the other staffers stayed put.

    Help did arrive, seven minutes later. Officials with the private ambulance company, AMS, said they arrived at the same time a fire truck from another station arrived. Firefighters are considered first responders. Paramedics with private ambulance companies usually arrive later.

    The crew was unable to save the man's life. He died later at a hospital from a condition that causes irregular heartbeat.

    Dr. Andrew Rosenbloom of West Michigan Heart says patients with an irregular heart rhythm must be treated within five minutes before major brain damage occurs. Emergency crews use equipment that will shock the heart into a correct rhythm. The equipment can save most patients but between 10 to 20 percent have an irregular rhythm that cannot be helped.

    Rosenbloom says in that case paramedics can use medication. There is a pacemaker that can help but it is not commonly used.

    It is uncertain what kind of irregular rhythm occurred in this case. Autopsies cannot determine that.

    At least one city commissioner, Rick Tormala, is questioning whether better staffing levels could have improved response time. He has criticized the department for not having 57 firefighters in position at all times.

    On the day of the call, 51 were working. Replacements were not hired because of limits on overtime.


    Deputy Chief VanDellen says the crew reported traffic ties-ups that morning. He said they did not get lost.

    The apartment complex does not have consecutive numbers on doors. Odd-numbered apartments are on one half of the complex, while the even-numbered ones are on the other side.

    24 Hour News 8 timed the drive from the two nearest stations from the apartment complex. It took three and a half minutes from one station, and five minutes from the other.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

    Comment


    • #3
      There's a Chief that has your back. Through your guy's under the bus.......

      Comment


      • #4
        whose to say that that squad of men would not have taken the same time to respond to the call if they had been returning from a call at the furthest possible location from the apartment complex that the station covers?
        They would stilll be in there coverage area, but farther away then if they were at the station.

        I think there are alot of "what if's?" in this situation.

        Comment


        • #5
          Wow........ Some Chief......... But I'm guessin there's much more to the story....... Where's Paul Harvey when you need him?????
          The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
          We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
          IACOJ

          Comment


          • #6
            Meanwhile, Mayor George Heartwell said he's asked city management to investigate.
            Well, I am sure "city management" will glean valuable information from their "investigation".
            Definitely should have a thorough grasp of patient care, response time, manning requirements, incident management; you know, stuff they should know about since they are "city management".
            Is my sarcasm too obvious?
            CR
            Visit www.iacoj.com
            Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
            RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

            Comment

            300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)

            Collapse

            Upper 300x250

            Collapse

            Taboola

            Collapse

            Leader

            Collapse
            Working...
            X