Man billed for ambulance that arrived too late

Mike Krumboltz
The Lookout

A man was charged $780 for an ambulance that arrived too late. reports that Durand Ford Jr. says he received the bill from the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Service Department. His father, 71-year-old Durand Ford Sr., died while waiting more than 30 minutes for the ambulance to arrive early in the morning on Jan. 1.

Ford Sr. was having trouble breathing on New Year's Day. reports that, according to records, the 911 call was placed at 1:25 a.m. A fire truck arrived nine minutes later, but an ambulance was not immediately available. Eventually, a county ambulance was dispatched and arrived at 1:58 a.m.

Unfortunately, by then, Ford Sr. had passed away. Ford Jr. said he feels angry and upset. "And I'm disturbed that we even received this bill. ... My sister and I are still grieving about the situation. [We’re] very angry about what happened and the service we did not receive from the district," he said, adding that he's seeking a full investigation into what happened.

Yvette Alexander, a Washington, D.C., Council member who represents Ford's district, has pledged to "help the family resolve this matter."

Before receiving the bill, Ford Jr. spoke out last month upon learning that D.C. ambulances were staffed at a low level on the night his father died. More than 50 district firefighters called in sick. A spokesperson for the department denied there was a "coordinated sick-out that night."