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The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

Man billed $800 for ambulance that failed to arrive in time to save father

man billed

Talk about adding insult to injury. It’s bad enough that a 911 call placed by Durand Ford, Jr., went unanswered for more than half an hour. By the time an EMS team finally showed up, Ford’s 71-year-old father, who had complained of trouble breathing, was dead.

But the kicker came, NBC 4 Washington reports, when Ford received a bill for $780.85 for “emergency services.”

“I feel angry. Upset,” he told reporters. “I’m disturbed that we even received this bill.”

According to records, the 911 call was made at 1:25 a.m. on Jan. 1. A D.C. fire truck arrived only nine minutes later, but an ambulance — the vehicle needed — was unavailable. The call was relayed to Prince George’s County Fire & EMS, but their log indicates that the call was not received until 1:47 a.m., 22 minutes later.

Ultimately an ambulance was dispatched to Ford’s home in Southeast Washington and arrived at 1:58 a.m. But by then it was too late.

“We’re still grieving about the situation,” Ford, notes. “[We’re] very angry about what happened and the service we did not receive from the district.”

DC Council member Yvette Alexander, who represents the district where Fords lives, is on record as saying:

Based on my experience in similar circumstances, DC Fire & EMS has not billed. This seems quite unusual, and I will help the family resolve this matter.

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Howard Portnoy has written for HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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