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Family Says LAFD’s Slow Response Time Contributed To Death Of Boy, 16

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A family says that a slow response time by LAFD paramedics contributed to the death of a 16-year-old.

Tonight, Jesus Zambrano’s family is grieving his loss.

He was playing soccer Sunday when he complained of having trouble breathing.

Amanda Burden, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9 Thursday, spoke to the boy’s coach and family.

Said Coach Nelson Rivas, “He felt dizzy and when they sat him down he started convulsing and that’s when I immediately called 911.”

For their part, the LAFD said they arrived within 15 minutes. The family says they arrived later.

The LAFD also said today that several conflicting calls gave paramedics the wrong address.

Rivas says, “I called and they asked me the location. They asked for the exact address and I told them, ‘I don’t have one but it’s Wilmington Middle School and it’s near Main and Lomita.'”

Claudia Zambrano, Jesus’ aunt, says she arrived before paramedics. “I got there before the ambulance got there and a few minutes later the ambulance got there, I’d say 10, 15 minutes later.”

According to Rivas’ call log, the ambulance took 17 minutes and 45 seconds to arrive. By then he says, it was too late.  Jesus was declared dead at the hospital.

Said the coach, “In my opinion, in life or death situations like this, that’s too much time, it’s borderline absurd.”

Today, the LAFD held a press conference to announce an investigation into the teen’s death. Said David Yamahata, LAFD Chief Deputy of Emergency Operations, “This was not an issue of resources not being available, this was an unfortunate incident where resources were dispatched to the wrong location.”

The boy’s aunt says she can’t buy the wrong location theory. “They were calling and they didn’t know where Wilmington Junior High School is at? And I’m like how is the fire department not going to know where the school is at?”

The LAFD also announced today they were reevaluating their dispatch policies.

The Coroner’s office told CBS2 and KCAL9’s Randy Paige that a cause of death has not been determined.

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