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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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Replies

  • Threes.Company
    February 12, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    It depends.  I mean, could they have saved his life if they were on time or was it pretty much a lost cause? 

    Did the ambulance transport the deceased to the morgue?  If so, then technically their services were used.  I mean, was the family planning on loading their deceased father into the car and driving him over?  This also opens up door for others to say they won't pay because their family member died DURING the ride over or that their family member died shortly after arriving at the hospital and that's somehow the responsibility of the paramedic staff.  It doesn't really work that way. 

    Yes, I think it is negligent to allow your emergency services staff to all call off sick.  Lay-offs should be made for people that think that partying with friends is more important than doing their jobs.  When you enter that sort of job, you do so knowing that you'll have to work some holidays.  I highly doubt all 50 of them were actually sick.  Sounds like they have a pretty crappy group of employees. 

  • Matriarch87
    February 12, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    1) Yes, standard procedure, there is now, "Be there in 5 minutes or its free" clause.  

    2) Yes.

    3) Yes.

    My thoughts are that I think its sad and unfortunate.  


  • jkampbyll
    February 12, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    also i agree and i never knew they could send medical bills to other family members(other than a spouse) when you die.


    Quoting amberstars:

    Peppermint Hot Chocolate please and thank you.

    I feel it was negligent to give 50 firefighters' time off for New Year's Eve.  There are a lot of people who have to work on New Year's Eve.  If there had been a fire and people died I believe they would have been liable.

    Same thing in this case.  They took 30 minutes to get there and didn't have enough responders because they gave 50 people the night off.  I don't feel the bill should have to be paid for their neglience. 

    At the same time if you waive the bill for one family then you should waive it for all that night (which again I think would be fair) or otherwise you'd have people complaining about 'special treatment'.



  • LittlePiggies5
    February 12, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Tha ambulance company should eat this bill

  • SparklingHope
    February 12, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    I've seen some responses to this and you can't go off of whether if even they arrived on time could they have saved their family member? Nobody will know that because FIFTY firefighters were called off that night. Short staffed should not be a family's problem when they have a real medical emergency like this family had to the point where that family member died because they were "short staffed". That's ridiculous! Negligent? Definitely. I would be filing to the highest authority and get media's attention and everything to get them to cut that bill to nothing! That is crazy! 

  • CaileighsMom608
    February 12, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    My son and I were hitting by a car while crossing the street.  We were transported in the same ambulance and I received to seperate bills for $280 EACH! 

  • bowlingmom06
    February 12, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    I would like a Rockstar please. Painting my bedroom today and need energy ;)


    1. I understand why the family was billed. They have to pay for gas, supplies, and the techs.

    2. The family should not have to pay the bill due to the fact that it was the EMS' fault

    3. I dont know if the employees are part of a union. If they are its not the district's fault that many people were on a "sick-day". They could however, if they knew that it was going to happen, outsource with an agency.

  • MelanieMans
    February 12, 2013 at 2:01 PM

     Thanks, I like the shamrock on it :)


    Quoting Cafe MichelleP:

     

    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 is....an 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.

     

     


     

  • Zadidoll
    February 12, 2013 at 2:05 PM



    Quoting Cafe MichelleP:

    Welcome to Mom to Mom's Tuesday Coffee Break!

    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?

    It was negligent for 50 firefighters to call in "sick" on the same night because they knew by doing so that the department would be short staffed. It's basically criminal and it's against the law. The family hopefully is suing the district and while this will not bring back the man who died it will punish those involved monetarily for neglecting to do their duties.

    As for paying the bill, no they shouldn't since reasonable care was not given nor was it within a reasonable amount of time. Delayed 5 minutes is one thing, 30 minutes is another.


  • ms.sophsmom
    February 12, 2013 at 2:09 PM
    Yes i think coroner would be next.. I had a call last week. Elderly person was hurt but stopped breathing. Police were, EMS responded in normal time but the woman died.. Plthey had tried cpr. They advised me she had a dnr and to call the coroner. . Under some circumstances the ambulance may transport a dead person bt usually our coroner will do that. I had another call though where 3 people died and the emts transported as well as the coroner. So i guess it depends on the need and the call

    Quoting Mrs.Kubalabuku:

    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.  




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