Miami Beach Fire Dispatcher Put on Leave With Pay After Response Delay

Michael Lubin, 65, died March 5 when it took a rescue team 31 minutes to get to his home

By Justin Finch
|  Saturday, Mar 30, 2013  |  Updated 12:57 PM EDT
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An emergency dispatcher has been placed on leave with pay after a man died when it took a Miami Beach Fire Rescue team 31 minutes to get to his home, authorities said Friday. Commissioner Ed Tobin comments.

An emergency dispatcher has been placed on leave with pay after a man died when it took a Miami Beach Fire Rescue team 31 minutes to get to his home, authorities said Friday. Commissioner Ed Tobin comments.

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Miami Beach Fire Department Investigates Response Delay

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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An emergency dispatcher has been placed on leave with pay after a man died when it took a Miami Beach Fire Rescue team 31 minutes to get to his home, authorities said Friday.

“The fire dispatcher was placed on leave with pay, pending the outcome of the internal affairs investigation,” Miami Beach Police Deputy Chief Mark Overton said in a statement. “This (is) normal protocol for an investigation of this magnitude.”

The ongoing investigation was launched after 65-year-old Michael Lubin died March 5 in his Venetian Islands home, as he waited for Fire Rescue to arrive. He lived two miles from the nearest fire station.

According to police reports, Lubin's wife called 911 at 9:05 a.m. By 9:17 a.m., a rescue crew was dispatched, but they didn't pull up to Lubin's home until 9:36. Three minutes later, Lubin was dead, police said.

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Miami Beach Fire Rescue Capt. Adonis Garcia has said that the normal response time is between 4 and 6 minutes.

In an email to her homeowners' association, Lubin's widow said rescue workers told her they were stuck at a bridge that opens on the hour and half hour on weekdays. Investigators will look at that issue as part of their probe.

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