People are questioning why it took emergency responders so long to arrive at the scene of a fatal crash in Saskatoon Friday morning.
“They feel that they had they known that help wasn’t coming sooner, they may have broken into the vehicle sooner,” Keith Jorgenson, manager of the nearby Nestor’s Community Bakery, said.
“They feel that they had they known that help wasn’t coming sooner, they may have broken into the vehicle sooner,” Keith Jorgenson, manager of Nestor’s Community Bakery, said.
A 62-year-old man was pronounced dead in hospital after crashing into a parked car on 20th Street West Friday. He was reportedly heading eastbound before weaving into the opposite side of the street and striking the car, which belonged to a bakery employee.
Employees from the bakery ran outside after seeing the crash and noticed the man seemed to be in medical distress. Jorgenson said they called 911 at approximately 5:15 a.m. When responders didn’t arrive, they called again and then a third time. It was during the third call that they told the dispatcher they believed the driver could be dead.
“Nobody still arrived. At that point — there’s a welding shop next door — and somebody from the welding shop arrived and had the tools to break into the vehicle,” Jorgenson said.
It was at this point that the welder gave the man CPR until emergency crews showed up.
Jorgenson said EMS arrived approximately one hour after the first 911 call was made. The police arrived approximately 15 minutes after EMS did.
Saskatoon police are promising a thorough review of their dispatch procedures.
Spokesperson Alyson Edwards said that police host the city’s 911 call centre. She said each call is different and it is up to dispatchers to determine whether police, fire or ambulance is the lead agency on any incident. For traffic collisions, Edwards said the service has a standard of arriving on scene within 70 minutes. For collisions involving injuries, that response time goes down to 17 minutes.
“We have to look at what information came in to our dispatch unit and what information was then sent along to officers and how that was all handled. It wasn’t acceptable that we did not arrive there before we did today. We know that. We want to review it and figure out exactly what went wrong,” she said.
Troy Davies with MD Ambulance said that the paramedic service couldn’t speak to how the initial call taking was handled. He said M.D. Ambulance has a standard response time of just under nine minutes for calls in Saskatoon. He said the ambulance service was alerted at 6:02 a.m. and arrived on scene by 6:09 a.m.
“We don’t have any concerns on our end from when we were notified to when we responded,” he said.
Jorgenson said his employees who were at the scene feel traumatized and are clearly upset. They are looking for answers.
“I know one of the people had been crying quite a bit today. They feel a sense of guilt that that was somebody’s father or uncle.”
The incident is being investigated by the Office of the Chief Coroner to determine exactly how the man died.
– With files from CKOM’s Bryn Levy and Karin Yeske