Detroit mother waits an hour for ambulance to pick up son

- A frightening moment becomes an hour long nightmare for one Detroit mom. Her 13-year-old son Walter had a seizure last week.

The trouble she had getting him help nearly threw her into a fit

"First call, and then that's the second, third, fourth, five, six, seven, eight," said the mother who did not want to be identified.

She called 911 ten times. The first three calls were answered by the same operator.

"By the time I called the 5th time, the gentleman told me the lady operator did not submit the call to the dispatch 911 EMS and that's why they didn’t come."

But the EMS Director says the call did make it to dispatch two minutes after the initial call. Help finally came an hour later. By then, Walter had four more seizures.

"My son could possibly die. He's having a seizure back to back. What is going on? Why isn't the EMS responding to my call?"

City officials say Walter's emergency was not a high priority run.

They say when probed by the 911 operator, Walter's mom admitted he was breathing, alert, and responsive.

"The call taker gets information from the caller to try and find out how sick or injured, or what kind of threat to life might be going on," said Dr. Robert Dunne, EMS Medical Director for Detroit and surrounding communities.

"From that, they put that into a program and that determines a priority. Priorities are generally three levels - 1,2,3."

One is the most severe - life threatening injuries. Walter didn't fit that category or the second.

Even so, his mother says an hour is too long to wait.

"I'm thankful that my son is well and nothing happened. Those are my thoughts, and I hope that the system gets better for others."


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