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Cafe MichelleP
It's Coffee Break time! Hot Topic: Who Is Responsible for the Bill?
February 12, 2013 at 10:02 AM

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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  • Cafe MichelleP
    February 12, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Mocha Frap!! Yum.

    Quoting sucker4myloves:

    I'd like a mocha frap, please. I do not think he should be charged. The negligence alone is sickening. I mean, I get that they can't control when people call in, but I sure do think all those assholes that were fake sick for one of the most dangerous holidays around should be replaced. And because their men were so damn bad at their jobs that they'd call in on the worst holiday TO call in, his father is dead. No, I'd not bill him.

  • Cafe MichelleP
    February 12, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    I love French Soda, I hope I did you justice!!

    Quoting Mrs.Vallo:

    Irish Cream French Soda please! 

    I dont have enough information to talk about it. However I dont think the family should have to pay. 30 mins waiting is just wrong. 

  • Cafe MichelleP
    February 12, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    How about a passion fruit smoothie!

    Quoting Krystle21:

    Fruit smoothie please

    I think it should be waived an ambulance shouldn't take that long to get somewhere. I would definitely fight that

  • Mrs.Vallo
    February 12, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Hits the spot! 

    Quoting Cafe MichelleP:

    I love French Soda, I hope I did you justice!!

    Quoting Mrs.Vallo:

    Irish Cream French Soda please! 

    I dont have enough information to talk about it. However I dont think the family should have to pay. 30 mins waiting is just wrong. 

  • iamcafemom83
    February 12, 2013 at 1:17 PM
    I feel for the family. It's like being kicked when you're already down.
  • Cafe MichelleP
    February 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Quoting boshs1andonly:

    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. 

  • Cafe MichelleP
    February 12, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Quoting illinoismommy83:

    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.

  • mickstinator
    February 12, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    I had a family friend who passed away after suffereing a heart attack, being care-flighted to a hospital, and receiving surgery. The total bill was over 100k. Based on the family's lower income and the loss of my friend even after all the procedures taken, nearly all of the debt was forgiven. The wife had to go through a lot to get it forgiven, though. 

    I have a lot to say about the way our healthcare is run. I don't think that bill is justifiable, however legal or normal it is. 

    And yeah, 50 firefighters calling in? Shouldn't there at least be enough on call? That seems incredulous. 

  • Mrs.Kubalabuku
    February 12, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    I got the impression they still transported him?  What else would they have done, sent for the coroner?

    I'll admit, I'm fuzzy on these procedures.  The only DNR I have ever personally been a part of they still transported them to the hospital, and from there the morgue.  

    My area is a decent sized city.  Ambulance crews and firefighters are seperate.  Amublances and EMTs can be stationed at fire stations, but they are seperate and will run independently of the station they are at.  The only "interspersal" is every fire truck has an EMT as part of the crew, and every fire truck is equipped with defibrillators, basic medical equipment kits, and an advanced life support kit.  (Not every firetruck team knows how to use the advanced life support kit, which is something they are working on.)

    Quoting ms.sophsmom:

    In alot of places the firefighters ARE the emts and vice versa. My area is strictky volunteer and several agencies are run by the same small group of ems/firefighter personnel.

    The fee should not be waived because he died, but because he was never transported. Also if the patient had a DNR or something they wouldn't have tried anything to revive him. Some details are missing here, definitely.

    Quoting Mrs.Kubalabuku:

    Something milky, please.

    No, the fee should not be waived.  The situation was awful, and the core problems should be addressed.  But can you imagine if nobody had to pay fees because someone died?  We don't KNOW that he would have been saved had the ambulance been there in 5 secs, the story doesn't give enough information.

    (I think I'm also failing to see why 50 firefighters calling in sick would impact the ambulance services.  Yes, they are all first responders, and firetrucks do have some medical equipment and people who know CPR, but EMTs and firefighters are two different things.  What took the AMBULANCE so long?  Were ambulances being sent to put out fires?)

    I think the fees should stand.  BUT, the city needs to address the absentee issue.  Require doctor's notes, or bring up stories like this that illustrate just how vital their jobs are to the community.  Ask for volunteers for holiday shifts, etc.  

  • Cafe MichelleP
    February 12, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Quoting mrsjksimmons:

    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. :)

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