Miami Beach Fire Department Investigates Response Delay

Fire Capt. Adonis Garcia says the department is "looking at it from top to bottom."

Friday, Mar 22, 2013  |  Updated 12:06 AM EDT
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Miami Beach Fire Rescue officials are investigating after it took 31 minutes for a crew to answer a call just two miles from the nearest fire station. Fire Capt. Adonis Garcia, Miami Beach City Commissioner Edward Tobin and Juergen Brendel, the president of the Venetian Islands Homeowners Association, discussed the issue.

Miami Beach Fire Rescue officials are investigating after it took 31 minutes for a crew to answer a call just two miles from the nearest fire station. Fire Capt. Adonis Garcia, Miami Beach City Commissioner Edward Tobin and Juergen Brendel, the president of the Venetian Islands Homeowners Association, discussed the issue.

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Miami Beach Fire Rescue officials are investigating after learning it took 31 minutes for a crew to answer a call just two miles from the nearest fire station.

The Miami Herald reports a 65-year-old man waiting for help was pronounced dead three minutes after the delayed crew arrived at his home March 5.

Fire Capt. Adonis Garcia says the department is "looking at it from top to bottom."

Records show the initial call came in 9:05 a.m. on March 5 after a woman found her husband on the floor. She said he was coherent and talking when she dialed 911. The crew was dispatched seven minutes later. She dialed 911 again before they arrived at 9:36 a.m.

Garcia says the normal response time is between 4 and 6 minutes.

“This is a very, very, very tragic situation, and we’re going to learn something from it, and if policies need to be changed and heads need to roll, we are going to get to the bottom of it,” Miami Beach City Commissioner Edward Tobin said.

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