Man Dies After Miami Beach Fire Department Takes 31 Minutes to Arrive

The Miami-Dade County wrongful death attorneys at Farah & Farah have found a story reported by the Miami Herald that seems almost too hard to believe. However, the Herald reports that a 65-year-old man died after it took Miami Beach fire rescuers 31 minutes to go two miles to the scene of an emergency call.

Records indicate that the initial 911 call was made at 9:05 a.m., but that the Miami Fire Department didn’t arrive on the scene until 9:36 a.m. – the man was declared dead at 9:39 a.m. According to police reports, the Fire Department was dispatched seven minutes after the first 911 call.

According to an email written by the wife, her husband was coherent and talking when she first called rescuers, but she grew more frantic when they did not show up. She called one more time before they finally arrived.

Her email alleges that when the first-responders arrived, they were told by walkie-talkie that an EKG machine they had brought with them was “offline” and not working. Paramedics performed CPR, but the man was pronounced dead three minutes later.

Although fire dispatchers are supposed to keep in contact with drawbridge operators to make sure that paramedics can get to emergency calls, the wife claims that the workers told her they had been delayed 10 minutes due to a raised drawbridge.

Fire Department officials are looking into the delay. One official stated it normally takes four to six minutes for them to respond to emergency calls. One city commissioner said that the delay seemed “inexcusable,” but that he would wait on making a judgment until all the facts were in.

Although Fire and Rescue departments throughout Florida should be lauded for the exemplary job they do, they also have a duty to get it right when lives are at stake. If you believe you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, let Farah & Farah take a look at your case. Call us at (800) 533-3555 or contact us online. We’re here to help you and your family.