Could faster EMS response time have saved Detroit man?

Detroit family says man died while it took Detroit EMS 47 minutes to respond to home

By Will Jones - Reporter

DETROIT - In the 47 minutes it took for EMS to make it to a house on McIntyre Street on Detroit's west side, the family says their loved one who was complaining of chest pains passed away.

So why did it take so long?

EMS officials say they had 16 ambulances available plus three private units. They were all responding to other emergencies at the time.

"If there was a hour response time for an emergency, you know, that can happen," said Joseph Barney, the head of the EMS union.

Barney says unfortunately this is not a new problem in the city.

"But we're going to need more man power and more trucks to really affect a real positive change," he said.

Right now Detroit is averaging a 15-minute response time. The goal is to get it down to 10 minutes and eventually make their way to the national average of 8 minutes.

Who knows if a faster response time in this situation could have saved the man's life on McIntyre.

"I just want to apologize on behalf of the men and women of Detroit EMS, because you know we want to be there. We want to make a difference during every family's emergency," said Barney.

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