LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A family says that a slow response time by LAFD paramedics contributed to the death of a 16-year-old.
Jesus Zambrano’s family continues to mourn his sudden loss. He died in December 2012. And they continue to insist his loss was unnecessary.
In a story “Only on CBS2” — Randy Paige reveals the 911 calls placed by the boy’s soccer coach.
The coach — Nelson Rivas — is heard frantically trying to get a dispatcher to send paramedics to the soccer field of the Wilmington Middle School — only he doesn’t know the exact address.
The dispatcher says, “Okay, that’s not an address, sir. That’s just the name of the school.”
Zambrano was playing soccer when he complained of having trouble breathing.
Rivas, and panicked parents, can all be heard trying to come up with the school’s exact address.
Paige reports that eight minutes later no ambulance was in sight. Coach Rivas is again heard asking “Where is the ambulance?” and the dispatcher again says, he needed an exact address.
There is a fire house about a 1.5 miles from the school’s field.
The first ambulance is sent to a wrong location. After 13 minutes go by, a second ambulance arrives but Paige said Zambrano could not be revived.
Heart surgeon Dr. Kathy Magliato, says “those minutes are life and death to that person.”
She says, “The data shows that for every one minute that you withhold CPR, your ability to survive that incident drops by ten percent so at the end of 10 minutes the mortality is almost 100 percent.”
Paige asks LA City Fire Deputy Chief David Yamahata if the dispatcher couldn’t simply pull up Google maps and find the school? “Again, for a call taker to type in Wilmington Middle School they’re not going to get an address, so we wouldn’t be able to determine which resource to send.”
That policy could soon change, reports Paige. The address of every school is now being entered into the 911 system so callers in the future will only have to give the name of the institution.
Zambrano’s death remains under investigation by the LAFD and the Los Angeles City Council.