July 28, 2014

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LifeCare crew took 15 minutes to respond to call

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Jerome Phillips Jr.

Jerome Phillips Jr.

LORAIN — Homicide victim Jerome Phillips Jr., lived behind Mercy Regional Medical Center, just minutes from the hospital’s emergency room.

However, the two LifeCare Ambulance paramedics who transported him to Mercy — which doesn’t have its own ambulances — took nearly 15 minutes to respond to Phillips’ apartment at 5520 Beavercrest Drive.

The response early Sunday was more than double the 6½ minute average response time in Lorain. Herb de la Porte, LifeCare vice president, said it should’ve been faster.

“We’re definitely dealing with that,” he said. “It’s not supposed to happen.”

De la Porte blamed the delay on a combination of factors. Authorities said Phillips was fatally stabbed, but Phillips’ girlfriend and homicide suspect Anna Carter told a 911 dispatcher a different story. Carter said Phillips had come home drunk and fallen down and vomited as he was about to take a shower. She said he was bleeding below his armpit.

The paramedics, who were called at 1:43 a.m., were told that they were responding to a man with stomach pain, not a stabbing victim. De la Porte said that shouldn’t have made a difference in the pace of the paramedics’ response, but it did.

Like firefighters, paramedics work 24-hour shifts and were asleep when they received the call. De la Porte said they took about five minutes to depart but should’ve taken three minutes.

“They took a little longer than they should have,” he said.

The station, at 109 W. 23rd St. and Broadway, is about 5 miles from the apartment. There were three ambulances at the station in Lorain and one returning from Cleveland at the time of the call. Construction on West 21st Street slowed the response.

At 1:50 a.m., the paramedics were told Phillips was unconscious and at nearly 1:56 a.m. were told he stopped breathing as they were pulling into the unlit complex. The paramedics had trouble finding Phillips’ apartment, delaying their arrival by a minute or two. They located it after seeing a hysterical Carter outside.

De la Porte, who wouldn’t name the paramedics, said both men have clean job records. He said one of the paramedics was hired in 2008 or 2009 and the other was hired about a year ago.

De la Porte said a panel of supervisors will decide on disciplinary action next Wednesday. He said the paramedics may be retrained and suspensions are possible. Terminations are unlikely because neither man has prior infractions.

According to Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans, Jerome Phillips was stabbed in the “tip of his heart.” The single stab wound caused hemopericardium, which is when blood fills a sac in the heart.

“That was not something he could survive,” Evans said.

Justin Phillips, Jerome Phillips’ brother, said the response was too long, and it might have cost his brother his life. Phillips said he isn’t considering suing LifeCare, but couldn’t speak for his relatives.

Phillips said he hopes the paramedics aren’t suspended, but retraining would be a good idea.

“They’ve got to be faster. Period,” he said.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

  • Zen Grouch

    I really like the way the paramedic’s chicken s*** supervisor is covering his rear end by talking about punishment before anyone’s determined that there was any wrong doing…

    …just another of the many wonderful ways of the new world we live in!

    • Just Stop It Already!

      5 minutes to leave the station. They should be out the door in less than 60 seconds. If you want to take your time, don’t be in a business where every second matters.

      • JCW

        I agree that the timeliness is indeed an issue here. I just refuse to close my eyes to the total picture. This call was hosed from the start. IF the caller had told the truth, and IF the dispatcher had related the nature accurately, I’d like to believe that this would have altered the outcome dramatically. An optimistic outlook, yes … but I don’t seek dark motives where none have existed before.

      • Zen Grouch

        According to the story the paramedics are working 24 hour shifts and are allowed/expected to sleep during this time.

        I’m thinking, 5 minutes is pretty fast to wake up, pull it together and be out the door when responding to what they believed to be a ‘tummy ache,’ thanks to the deceptive killer who made the call to 911.

  • givemeabreak1234

    When all else fails blame Lifecare? Lets go back to the beginning she stabbed him. So why did he die? Because she stabbed him! The hospital was by them not the ambulance service. Was she clear about what happened? No, I listened to the 911 call and she was all over the place and didn’t even give him CPR. It is only her fault that this tragedy happened.

  • Marshola Keepin Faith Rembert

    I JUST LISTEN TO THE 911 CALL AND IT’S CRAZY. I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND IT WOW IS ALL I CAN SAY

  • taxpayer89

    Paramedics do NOT hang out at hospitals waiting for calls. Just another excuse to put blame on a crime. With budget cuts there may not have been as many ambulances on the road, or they were across town. I’m not making excuses but I work in the medical field and know for a fact that they drive around or have specific areas where they wait for calls. She stabbed him, made a no sense call to 911 and dispatch sends the info they receive. Instead of saying she stabbed him because she’s crazy, or they fought or it was self defense, let’s blame Lifecare. I’m so sick of people blaming everyone else for crimes that are preventable.

    • Bob Sweatt

      Totally agree. Blame the criminals.

      • Just Stop It Already!

        Lets put aside the nature of the call. It took them 5 minutes to leave the station for an emergency call. it took them 15 to get on scene. That is not acceptable for my family.

        • JCW

          Nor should it be. However, I would urge not move to swift and possibly emotional decisions regarding the businesses involved.

        • JoeSmo Medic

          Crews have 3 minutes after Midnight from the time dispatch calls to the time they leave the station, An average response time to the the location of this call is 8-10 minutes. Factor in the time it takes to get enroute, that ads up to 11-13 minutes, not including the construction. 21st is the fastest route even with the construction. Yes they were a little slower then normal, but even if they got on scene in seconds, this patient would have still died. LifeCare is still very fast when it comes to responding to calls.

  • Ray Venn

    Why do I have the image of Mayor Brinda grinning and wringing her hands in the back of my mind after reading this story?

    • JCW

      Because she needs something to do? In the absence of her witch hunt, what exactly -has- been done? Anyone?

  • SoLoJimbo

    After listening to the 911 call, I would really be looking at the dispatcher for not asking obvious questions to the caller and making some determination of foul play. First you can hear the victim laboring to breath and drowning in his own fluids. Second, bleeding from under his arm but don’t know why!!! Hello, bells and whistles should be going off. This dispatcher sent EMS workers into a crime seen and didn’t even notify local police to respond. Dispatchers are supposed to be trained to recognize these types of clues. Most people wouldn’t call and say I stabbed my boyfried but I’m sorry and he needs help ASAP. Dispatchers are supposed to root out facts and send all appropriate agencies. 911 FAILED and the family should be contacting an attorney to prevent the rest of us from their
    Incompetence.

    • Larry Crnobrnja

      I disagree. You can’t blame the dispatcher because:
      1. the caller was untruthful
      2. he didn’t have the luxury of reading about it in the newspaper

  • Roberta Louise Michalak

    regardless of the crime (horrific to be sure) ANY ambulance call for that distance in that amount of time does certainly need reviewed…if it was your grandma having chest pains (and not a crime) would 15 minutes be acceptable? fact is, regardless of the reason for the call, 15 minutes in just unacceptable.

    • Bob Sweatt

      If it was chest pains. The ambulance would have run with lights and sirens. Meaning they would have ran every light. And gotten there as quickly as they could.

      but since it was a call for stomach pains. They probably didn’t run lights and sirens. Meaning they had to stop at every red light.

      Just my two cents.

      • Just Stop It Already!

        EVERY CALL COMING FROM 911 IS LIGHTS AND SIRENS. 5 MINUTES TO LEAVE THE STATION IS CRIMINAL! WHY DOES EVERYONE BLINDLY DEFENDED THESE PEOPLE…

        • JCW

          Not blindly defending. In fact, I supported the fact that Herb is planning disciplinary action. I’m just not in the business of placing all the blame on one stone, when clearly more are culpable for the tragedy here.

        • Bob Sweatt

          How about placing the blame were it should be. Trying blaming the crazy Beotch who stabbed the man. Quit blaming these people who were doing their jobs.

        • hottamomma

          i kindve agree with you there, but i dont put all the blame on lifecare, but they are partially to blame. any call to lifecare is suppose to be handled as an emergency regardless of what kindve ailment. but that crazy beotch(good one bob sweatt) is also the blame. if she was to claim defending herself now it is to late cause wont no one believe her cause she lied to the 911 caller. shes in jail, and lifecare people should get a retraining seminar.

      • Cassie

        As a former EMT in another state, we were not permitted to differentiate between calls. Whether the call is for an adult having a heart attack or a child with a runny noise (I know, ridiculous but it happened), we were expected to respond with the same sense of urgency.

        • Bob Sweatt

          Right. Sorry. I was annoyed because everyone is blaming these people for this guy dying. When the blame should be put on the woman who stabbed him. Then reported that he had stomach pains. Not a bleeding chest.

          • Herb and Pete

            No one is blaming these Paramedics for his death. The problem is, irregardless of the call it took them 15 minutes to respond to a call and 5 minutes to leave the station. That is the issue at hand. Not the dispatch not the situation. I understand that 21st is under construction and that will slow response time, but last time I checked the hallway from their bed to the apparatus bay was not under construction…

          • Bob Sweatt

            “According to Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans, Jerome Phillips was stabbed in the “tip of his heart.” The single stab wound caused hemopericardium, which is when blood fills a sac in the heart.“That was not something he could survive,” Evans said.”

            With that being said. it really doesn’t matter if they jumped out of bed and got right into the ambulance or if they stopped to fill the coffee mugs before leaving. It really didn’t matter did it??

          • Cassie

            “According to Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans, Jerome Phillips was stabbed in the “tip of his heart.” The single stab wound caused hemopericardium, which is when blood fills a sac in the heart.“That was not something he could survive,” Evans said.”

            But no one knew this was the case at the time of the call, so stopping to fill up the coffee mug would have been neglectful. I am not saying that the EMT’s are to blame here-the fault is in the person with the knife. Unless there are legitimate reasons for the 15 minute response time, it is unacceptable.

          • Bob Sweatt

            AGAIN the call was for stomach pains. The woman who stabbed him must have wanted him dead. She and only she should be hold accountable for what happen to Jerome. Not the fact that it took 15 minute for them to arrive.

            And how about you try getting from Broadway in Lorain to the hospital within a reasonable amount of time. No mater what time of the day or night. It will take you at least 10 minutes and that is with all the lights being green.

          • Cassie

            And how about you try getting from Broadway in Lorain to the hospital within a reasonable amount of time. No mater what time of the day or night. It will take you at least 10 minutes and that is with all the lights being green.

            If this is the case, then the problem is in the system, not the individual responders. Is there a need for a second EMT location? Should the current location be moved to a more centralized area? What do you think?

          • Bob Sweatt

            I think that people should start being fined for call 911 for stomach aches and using the ambulance as their personal taxi to a hospital.

            I wasn’t there or even know anyone who works at Lifecare. But I bet when the call came in, they were like “here we go again” then took their time. Because it was a call for stomach pain. Not a life threatening knife wound.

          • Cassie

            But remember, there are instances where stomach pains are serious and have the potential to be life-threatening. I had a patient that had a stomach abscess burst releasing toxins into his system. We couldn’t assume that the person had just eaten something that didn’t agree with him, he would have likely died. I do believe that if it is determined that the call was in fact not life-threatening (which can only be done after the fact) then by all means fine them or charge them with some kind of falsification.

          • JoeSmo Medic

            Totally agree. If that was the case, Lorain City jail would be booked solid for months straight. People believe that since they have medicaid and medicare, that they can call 911 for anything, and trust me, as being a medic in Lorain, People call 911 for literally anything and everything. Very few people in this city call 911 for a real medical/traumatic event. Ive ran into a few people in this city who feel bad that EMS was even called ( 3rd party caller ), Ive seen them in pain, and they still know that their complaint does not warrant an Ambulance, and that amazed me.

          • Cassie

            Also, I want you to understand, where I was an EMT, stomach pains received the same priority as a stab wound, we weren’t expected to treat either any differently. I don’t know if that is the case with Lifecare. Her lying about the extent of his injuries may not have been about wanting him to die, but more about saving her a$$.

          • Bob Sweatt

            She was screwed the moment the knife pierce his heart. And no matter how long it took anyone to get there or what they said to 911. Poor Jerome was going to die.

          • Ray Venn

            You sound like some “cowboy” that liked tear-assing around your city like a maniac.

            Over 5 miles and 14 traffic lights at intersections that if red, the driver must “clear” each time takes at least 9 minutes. Couple that with a darkened building in a row of 11 different buildings on Beavercrest drive.

            People need to relax…

          • JoeSmo Medic

            Finally, someone who made some sense of the issue. That is another thing, the many apartment complexes in Lorain, have HORRIBLE Address number signs, and building number signs, making it damn near impossible to find these places unless someone is standing outside.

          • Ray Venn

            Is the building not being properly lit with an address clearly visible legit?

          • Reeeally309

            NO! I had to deliver something over there and it was dark, it was nearly impossible to find. If I’m not mistaken, there aren’t any addresses on the front either…these are townhouse style and the numbers are all in back where the parking is and unless the individual has their porch light on, you can’t see without getting out of your car and walking up to the building! I knew right away when I saw the address that it had to of at least caused a slight hiccup in the responders getting there.

        • Ray Venn

          Running lights and sirens for a “runny nose” is ludacris. Sure, let’s endanger a life running through stop signs and red lights for something so trivial. We live on the route to Mercy Hospital in Lorain and you can OBVIOUSLY tell when a call is urgent or not. Yes they run lights and sirens, but the speed is dramatically different. When the squad is pulling a huge cloud of dust behind it, you know they’re in a hurry…

  • Veronica Lopez

    I’m thinking there is more to this story than what we are reading.

    Ya’ll do know Lifecare usually responds from 23/Broadway right? I would say given the ridiculous road conditions, distance and time of night (waking up), the response time is about right.

    • Bob Sweatt

      Exactly. Some one with common sense.

    • Guest

      At 1:30 a.m., that’s in the early hours of the morning, traffic congestion, if there’s ever traffic congestion in Lorain anymore, cannot have been a problem.

      Every ambulance call, except for a prearranged transport to the hospital or from the hospital to a nursing home, for example, should be done with lights and sirens, as needed. This was an EMERGENCY vehicle, and should have been operated as such.

      Protocals were not followed, apparently, and whether or not the delay in reaching the victim contributed to his death, the city needs to reevaluate how it operates its emergency ambulance system. Usually I opt for a private enterprise over the government, but maybe it’s time for the city to reexamine operating a fully equipped and trained Emergency Medical Technicians operation in conjunction with the Lorain Fire Department.

      • JCW

        Lights and sirens, yes, but would you want the police to go racing through the streets with ill regards to safety to a shoplifting call at Wal-Mart? That’s the equivalent here … a crew is told “stomach ache” and it has a lesser threat factor than a knife wound. I’d rather have them drive safely when the situation doesn’t demand as swift a response.

        • Cassie

          Police are allowed to prioritize their calls, EMT are not. What appears to be a non-life threatening situation can turn for the worse in a matter of seconds. A stab wound could appear to be nothing more than superficial, but what if the victim is a hemophiliac and no one on the scene knows.

          • JCW

            Can’t entirely agree here. Understand that I counter to stimulate debate, not to say you’re wrong. :)

            If one can’t discriminate, then none should. A simple disturbance could be a hostage situation, a domestic disturbance a multiple murder scene, and so on. The room for interpretation exists in both fields and, if one should be held liable, they both should be.

          • Cassie

            “If one can’t discriminate, then none should”…
            “if one should be held liable, they both should be”

            No argument here, but we both know that this is not how things work. In these situations, there is no way to make the public happy. The public would be happy if neither were allowed to discriminate and make all calls a priority but then manpower would need to be increased. But who wants to pay for increased manpower for what are determined to low-priority responses.

          • JCW

            Absolutely agreed, Cassie, and good point. The altar here is public perception … why did they did not speed, yet you’d be amazed at how often complaints come about how emergency vehicles are racing through neighborhoods. It only becomes an issue when a) a life is lost because of trying to meet the public’s safety outcry and b) the media grabs onto a case where such can be elevated as a talking point. Not that I don’t like talking with you, but still. :)

      • JoeSmo Medic

        They did run lights and sirens, Im not sure why people think they did not. Yes, we still run lights and sirens to every call received as a 911, but we may not drive as fast as if it was a shooting or stabbing for example. Plus another thing is, people in Lorain seem to not notice the 9 foot tall white and red boxes on wheels with flashing lights and blaring sirens, so they take forever to pull over, or in most cases, stop dead in the middle of the street.

    • Mark B

      I dont think they should be sleeping , shorter shifts and awake your entire shift sounds safer to me , i dont want a groggy person treating me

      • hottamomma

        great point there!

    • hottamomma

      thats right for us normal people but their supervisor said they are suppose to be out of bed and in the truck in 3 min. and to there destination in 5min. again im not totally blaming lifecare, but i do think they r 15% to blame.

      • JCW

        That’s exceptionally quick, Momma. Not casting doubt on you here, but it is generally accepted within the field that an ‘ideal’ response time
        for emergency calls would be within eight minutes, ninety-percent of
        the time, but this objective is rarely achieved, and current research
        results question the validity of that standard. In the larger communities, New York mandates a 10 minute response, while most California cities have a 12-15 standard. in short, there’s no real hard mandate on it, nor is there a federal statute which dictates one..

  • Deborah

    I’m just wondering why Life Care has 24 hour shifts. You would think that in a profession where a life can be at stake, and response time crucial, you wouldn’t have someone sleeping on the job.

    • Just Stop It Already!

      It works in every other city with a fire department across the country. This is not a 24 hour shift issue or a lifecare management issue its an issue with employees not doing their job. They are probably burnt out from the 25 plus calls a day lifecare makes them run.

      • JCW

        Gotta call you out on this. Documentation?

        • Just Stop It Already!

          Lifecare doesn’t have to turn documentation over to me. But, I am in the business and know many employees of lifecare. The national fire chiefs association has been trying to limit private ems 24 hour shifts for years due to the fact they don’t get the down time required.

          http://www.iafc.org/MemberCenter/OnSceneArticle.cfm?ItemNumber=5633

          • Bob Sweatt

            “According to Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans, Jerome Phillips was stabbed in the “tip of his heart.” The single stab wound caused hemopericardium, which is when blood fills a sac in the heart.“That was not something he could survive,” Evans said.”

          • Herb and Pete

            That is not what the issue is, we aren’t saying that he died because of this. But what if the next person does? If they do it once other people will do it again. It must be addressed. What if the fire department stayed in bed when you called and said your house was on fire? Is the home owner to blame because its their house? no, you would want answers. What if your wife is having chest pain and they waited 5 minutes before they came, and she went into full arrest? I’m sure you would want answers and faster response times? Cause I sure don’t find 5 minute leaving the station times as OK. 9 times out of 10 what we get dispatched for is not what we find on scene. Everyone call needs to be treated like the real thing. Someone did call 911 for a reason, and yeah it gets abused all the time but what about the person that isn’t abusing it… You cannot make that call before you get there, and if you are McDonald’s is hiring, because you are burnt out.

          • Bob Sweatt

            I would be upset if they took forever to get to my house. But first and for most. I WOULD blame whatever started the fire for my house burning down. Not the fact that it took them forever to get there.

            And like someone else said. IF they would have know it was a serious injury then they probably would have move a little quicker. But to many people cry wolf when the call 911. So a call for stomach pains doesn’t warrent a timely response.

            Ok now realize this. If the woman would have been honest and told the truth and said she stabbed him. The police would have had to do in and make sure the screen was safe enough for the ambulance crew to go in. They would of had to secure thee weapon even before the crew could enter.

            This whole thing sucks. But no matter what would have happened Jerome would have died. As much as that sucks.

          • Cassie

            An interesting point here about the police response. When you call 911 they ask police fire ambulance, did she ask for the ambulance specifically? (I haven’t heard the tape). I ask because the police department would have been able to assess the scene as a priority and, if possible, the ambulance response might have been different.

          • Bob Sweatt

            But if she would have been honest and said what really happen. The police would have gone in first. Secured the scene then the ambulance crew would have been allowed to go in.

            Google map the direction from Lifecare in Lorain to the Hospital. It is 9 minutes.

        • JoeSmo Medic

          Its more like 10-15 calls per 24 hour period per truck in Lorain, out of the 4 24 hour trucks. Still, that is a lot of calls.

    • JCW

      Deborah, this has been standard practice for fire and EMS personnel for years.

    • Mark B

      I would have to vote for the same with the fire department .

    • JoeSmo Medic

      Umm, many departments throughout the United States run 24 hour shifts, just because medics sleep, does not factor into how they treat patients, we all know our jobs, and we do a good job no matter what time of the day it is.

  • JCW

    “The response early Sunday was more than double the 6½ minute average
    response time in Lorain. Herb de la Porte, LifeCare vice president, said
    it should’ve been faster.

    “We’re definitely dealing with that,” he said. “It’s not supposed to happen.”

    Doesn’t sound chicken-sh*t to me … sounds like accountability. I’d rather see more of this than label it cowardice.

    And spot-on call, Bob. It’s all in how the call is received. Stab wound … lights. Stomach pain .. no lights. From the get-go, this call was doomed to fail … from the intentionally false info provided by the caller to the misclassifying (intentional or not, it’s still just that) of the call type. Every detail makes a difference in how a response is done, and what protocols can be followed.

    The shocking thing is that (with typical media bravado) this one call is thrust into the model of being ‘business as usual’ when it is far from it. What happened is terrible and regrettable … but also a confluence of events which could have been avoided if all cards were dealt evenly from the beginning.

    • Just Stop It Already!

      THEY RAN LIGHTS! They are required by law too.

      • JCW

        Not required to. Look at the Ohio law:

        4511.03 Emergency vehicles at red signal or stop sign.
        (A) The driver of any emergency vehicle or public safety vehicle, when responding to an emergency call, upon approaching a red or stop signal or any stop sign shall slow down as necessary for safety to traffic, but may proceed cautiously past such red or stop sign or signal with due regard for the safety of all persons using the street or highway.

        Stomach pains isn’t so brazen an emergency as a stab wound. Not being harsh on you here, just stating that a broader level of discretion becomes involved when dealing with a tummy ache, rather than a knife wound.

        • Just Stop It Already!

          Okay you misunderstood. They ran lights and sirens. They are required too. A dispatcher or Paramedic not on scene cannot safely say this is not an emergency and allow the ambulance to drive with traffic.

          • Guest

            They did, but as I said to oldruss earlier, they also by law have the power of discretion. I’m okay with my emergency crews being cautious when the situation reported is not presented as an absolute imperative.

          • JCW

            They did, but as I said to oldruss earlier, they also by law have the
            power of discretion. I’m okay with my emergency crews being cautious
            when the situation reported is not presented as an absolute imperative. I still expect promptness, but not as the expense of being dangerous.

        • JoeSmo Medic

          Just stop it already meant they ran Lights and Sirens to the call. This is required by LifeCare on all emergencies

    • TAD

      Most EMS calls (unless they’re just patient transport) are lights and siren. This one was likely no different. I can tell you from experience that the situation does dictate the response though. A belly ache vs. choking 2 year-old will get a different response every day of the week. The chick that stabbed him and then called 911 and didn’t give the whole story holds 95% of the blame. However, the response time as it was is unacceptable in any situation and they own a part of that blame as well, abeit smaller…

    • Zen Grouch

      **The paramedics, who were called at 1:43 a.m., were told that they were
      responding to a man with stomach pain, not a stabbing victim. De la
      Porte said that shouldn’t have made a difference in the pace of the
      paramedics’ response, but it did.**

      These are the words of someone who isn’t dealing with reality…

      …either that, or he really is chicken s*** and covering his precious heinie while throwing the paramedics under the bus.

      In this Bozo’s world all calls should be handled the same?!

      OK, then why bother with the dispatchers gathering any information at all?

      Have every call responded to with a ‘code 3′ even if many of those calls result in little more than hosing down a filthy, passed out wino, then schlepping him to the ER for 3 hots and a cot?

      Yeppers! Every time someone calls the paramedics for taxi service because Youlanda has a belly ache and the ER is her primary care provider, the EMTs should risk life and limb by blowing through red lights while speeding, so that precious doesn’t have to wait for all that service that she and her momma aren’t gonna pay for no’ how!

      Because, what the heck, most city governments are sitting on top of a money pile they can’t get rid of fast enough! So why not increase the chances of killing some poor dingus on his way to work, to make sure that every scraped knuckle is taken care of STAT!!!

      …sheesh

      • JCW

        In a perfect world, all calls would be the same, but we have so many frivolous calls (stubbed toe … seriously!) that it also instills a filter by proxy on how to respond. Sad truth, but truth nonetheless. Ask a cop how quick they are to run to Speedway for a shoplifting call, but it’ll be the one time that the shoplifter draws a gun and kills everyone in the store that will be the police’s fault.

        • Zen Grouch

          “In a perfect world, all calls would be the same…”

          You’re pretty much making my point here.

          #1 We don’t live in a “perfect world.”

          #2 The cowardly supervisor said “that shouldn’t have made a difference in the pace of the paramedics’ response, but it did.” When referring to the severity of one call over another, from the throne in his perfect little world.

          He then went on to talk about punishment of the paramedics for operating outside of a “perfect world.”

          This isn’t being accountable as you said…

          …this is being chicken s*** and selfish.

          • JCW

            We agree to disagree.

          • Zen Grouch

            Alas…

            …in a perfect world, we’d be in 100% agreement.

        • Bob Sweatt

          It’s a general practice in the country to Blame everything on everyone else. Not what the blame should be on.

          I think you were the one that said something about Self Entitlement. Which is part of the problem. Everyone thinks they should come first. But guess what people sometimes you come in second or even last place. You all have to learn to deal with that and move on with life.

    • Mark B

      not to mention that 911 did not call life care for over a minute and a half

  • oldruss

    At 1:30 a.m., that’s in the early hours of the morning, traffic congestion, if there’s ever traffic congestion in Lorain anymore, cannot have been a problem.

    Every ambulance call, except for a prearranged transport to the hospital or from the hospital to a nursing home, for example, should be done with lights and sirens, as needed. This was an EMERGENCY vehicle, and should have been operated as such.

    Protocals were not followed, apparently, and whether or not the delay in reaching the victim contributed to his death, the city needs to reevaluate how it operates its emergency ambulance system. Usually I opt for a private enterprise over the government, but maybe it’s time for the city to reexamine operating a fully equipped and trained Emergency Medical Technicians operation in conjunction with the Lorain Fire Department.

    • Just Stop It Already!

      Well said.

    • JCW

      While I respect your passion on this, I cannot agree that one call (despite the tragedy of it, which I concur that it was) is a sound basis for revamping an entire system. If this were a pattern, then I’d be more in agreement with it. If we examine it, then it all needs to be examined, including how 911 calls are received, categorized, and dispatched. The passionate reaction to this is understandable … and my heart sincerely goes out to the family … but I also recognize when something is not indicative of typical service, and thus not necessary to implode it in favor of rebuilding the machine, rather than tuning that machine against repeating the error.

      • oldruss

        We don’t know if this was an isolated incident, or if run times are sporadically slow, or often slow. Hence my suggestion for a review of the “entire system”.

        • JCW

          Both the 2009 audits and recent studies have not demonstrated this as a pattern. I’d like to believe that the city council, as well as independent auditors, are more responsible than to simply rubberstamp a business because it has longevity.

  • CharlesMartel732

    It’s sickening the way society covers up for miscreants. Here’s a man with, according to the newspaper, an extensive criminal background. Burglaries, domestic violence, drugs. First it’s 6 kids, then it’s 8 kids, by at least 3 different women? One article mentions him walking around his apartment complex with a steel pipe and nunchuks? That the neighbors didn’t like him? Another mentions the advice he got from someone was to beat Carter if she was beating him?

    Then we’re surprised he gets stabbed to death and angry at an ambulance company when they didn’t get there fast enough to save him? The Coroner said the wound was non-survivable. Maybe if the girlfriend told the 9-11 operator that she had stabbed him in the chest instead of telling them he was vomiting they would have gotten there a bit quicker?

    How many times do people call the ambulance for insignificant tummy-ache problems? How many times do they go to the Emergency Room for a runny nose? When too many entitlement mentality Americans use the ambulance as their personal taxi service, real emergencies, or people covering up a crime, falls through the cracks. Crying “Wolf” has consequences.

    This is a tragedy in the sense that it’s happening all over America. A tragedy that so many people live their lives dependent on the government and tragic that we have to hear excuses for people who live their lives in an out of control manner.

    • hottamomma

      what u r saying is true, but his criminal background shouldnt have anything to do with the ambulance getting there. also if he was tired of her hitting him he shouldve beeeeeen left. but i hope she gets what she deserves and then some for lying!

      • Bob Sweatt

        momma He isn’t saying that the ambulance crew know the man personally. He is just stating that the man’s past finally caught up with him.

        • hottamomma

          oh ok (lol lol) i thought he was trying to say cause of his criminal background they shouldve been slow. thanks for clearing that up for me

    • Bob Sweatt

      Well put and agree with you 100%

  • Pablo Jones

    It’s much faster than the response times in Detroit.

    • hottamomma

      lol lol lol

  • Scott Hartman

    This story really bothers me. Not that that responders took 15 minutes to arrive to the scene, but the lack of intelligence and understanding by this group of individuals. The lifecare members don’t just do a job, they do a job that they love. They do a job to try and better an unfortunate situation. They get called at all hours of the night to try to turn a bad situation into a good ending. I get very upset hearing “it took them way to long to arrive”. First of all by the sounds of it, nobody knew during the phone conversation what happened to this gentleman. In healthcare/EMS your only good as the information you get, the rest is a mystery. Also, if there was any mention of a stabbing, the police need to respond first. Before any EMS provider enters that scene it has to be safe. Needless to say if these responders took 1 minute or 30 minutes to get to this gentleman he was already gone. “According to Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans, Jerome Phillips was stabbed in the “tip of his heart.” The single stab wound caused hemopericardium, which is when blood fills a sac in the heart.“That was not something he could survive,” Evans said.” So please lets all be sue happy here, and destroy one of the great services we have for this county. Be realistic people.

    • JoeSmo Medic

      Well put Scott.

  • Nathan Opfer

    Love how everyone all of a sudden can tell someone else how to do their job when they have no idea whats goin on and are sudden experts. Im former EMT. First the call came out as stomach pain. It does not warrant taken more risk to get through traffic faster than say if it came out as a stab wound. Also the squad has to obey the laws of road, they can’t just blow through every stop sign and traffic light. If it did then you would have to wait for the police to clear the area before the medics go in. But now the coroner has said his peace there was no way the victim was goin to make it weather they were there in 8-10 min or their 15 min.
    Also alot of yall have no idea what its like to be in that field.

    • Herb and Pete

      What is your justification for them staying in bed for 5 minutes after receiving the call?

      • Zen Grouch

        What is your justification for stretching the truth to the breaking point?

        It took them 5 minutes to hit the door…

        …not drag themselves out of the sack.

        • Herb and Pete

          What do you think they do? The don’t don turn out gear. I am not breaking the point. This is the point. Terrible response time is the point. I am not claiming they are responsible for this guys death, nor should anyone else. But the next call might go different if they don’t hurry up

          • Zen Grouch

            “I am not breaking the point…”

            OK… I think I see the problem here…

          • Herb and Pete

            That you have no idea what you’re talking about? I see that. That’s what the whole lifecare conversations have all been.

          • Nathan Opfer

            Ok its 1in the mornin. you are in a deep sleep. the tones drop. how would you react? These medics are not machines they are human. You don’t know what kind of shift they had before they went to bed or what they seen that day. The job takes a toll you mentally and physically.

          • Zen Grouch

            You got no argument from me…

            Then, on top of that, they have a chicken s*** supervisor whose talking about disciplinary action in a newspaper interview, BEFORE it’s been determined that there was any wrongdoing on their part.

            I’m guessin’ that’s a non-union job if they have to put up with that kind of bull hockey.

          • Just Stop It Already!

            There job is to jump up when the tones go off. If you are not going to, get a new job. I know what its like do it every 3rd day.

          • Zen Grouch

            After reading your posts here, I seriously doubt that you ever were a paramedic or any other kind of emergency service employee.

            You seem to be lacking common sense along with a certain level of intelligence and maturity.

            My guess is you’re about 11 or 12 years old and yanking all of our chains for a nasty giggle.

          • Just Stop It Already!

            ahahah the intelligence is there, and I will give you the lack of maturity because I enjoy having fun. But you’re right its scary to think I work in the business but guess what I do! ;)

          • Zen Grouch

            OK… I’ll guess what you do, is very poorly in elementary school.

  • Tiffany Del Rae Swearman

    I called LifeCare for pains in my ribs from coughing. The driver tried to diagnose me on the scene by telling my that I “probably” pulled a musle & don’t really need to go to ER. So ended up going to Mercy & had 2 broken ribs. My husband rode in the front of the ambulance with the driver & smelled marijuana the whole time.

    • JoeSmo Medic

      Really? So now you are accusing LifeCare medics of smoking pot?? You know LifeCare runs in Lorain right? We pick up stoners all the time, and the smell of the previous patient stays in the squad for awhile, no matter how hard we try and get rid of it. We work with supervisors on our shifts, they would be able to pick up on the smell if a medic was smoking pot. Not to mention the fact that we respond side by side with LPD Many times a night, so you think they would not pick up on it if a medic was using drugs?

      • Tiffany Del Rae Swearman

        Funny my husband only smelled it riding in the front seat with the driver..Oh i forgot that cops & medics are top citizens…that’s a laugh..also considering that i was calling them to pick me up due to thinking i broke my ribs. They assumed the responsibility of telling my that “You prob pulled a muscle & don’t even need to go”..So off i went to the GREAT MERCY HOSPITAL :sarcasm: And was sent home in severe pain & was told i broke nothing. Eventually ending up at a much better hospital “Cleveland Clinic” And was told that I had 2 broken ribs the whole time & mercy never saw it..Horrible..Lorain has to be the nastiest place i have ever lived..Sorry that my family ever bought a home here..Poor excuse for a city in my eyes..

  • Medic140

    I have worked for LifeCare and getting to that part of town and finding the address in the dark may take every bit of 15 min. I have seen a lot of people commenting and judging that have never worked in EMS. Things happen and LifeCare is under the microscope because the Elyria mayor wants to lower the service of care to her citizens by giving EMS to EFD (which is statistcly proven). Why not do stories on the thousands and thousands of people LifeCare has helped and made a difference in their lives?Nobody is perfect, so stop judging LifeCare!!

    • JoeSmo Medic

      Exactly!

    • Just Stop It Already!

      How can you say EFD will be a lower service? You ruined your whole speech by judging….

      • Medic140

        Did you not do your homework and read the stats on fire based EMS? All the top EMS agencies are county/city based because they are paramedics that want to be paramedics, Not firemen who have to be paramedics because that is what the job requires. It is not judging my Just Stop It Already friend, it’s fact.

        • Just Stop It Already!

          Have any proof of this? Columbus fire was recently referred to in cnn article about being one of the best EMS services in the Country, Fire Based. They used it as an example of DC EMS, which only handles EMS.

  • Don’t tread on me

    So essentially all of this pointless unnecessary speculation is over two minutes considering no outcome would have changed? Essentially you folks no what it’s like to work in EMS full time. Let’s look at this for a second. While the crew had a 2 minute delay, it did not fall into normal operation guideline. These folks are as human as you, I, or anybody else. Occasionally a delay will occur as it could with anyone. Mistakes happen. Are you going to retrain someone to wake up, dress up, take a pee, and walk to the truck. Instead of focusing on this delay, cherish the fact that you have an ambulance with the capabilities to make it within 15 minutes. Step out of the city and you will not consistently find this. Additionally, you have a service that is not taking a thing but lint from the taxpayers pocket. A service that is expected to run lights and sirens placing numerous people in danger like something out of a tv episode and treat every call as if it’s a real emergency, which occurs less than 10% of the time. It’s easy to say what should have occurred but until you have been abused by this system and taken someone with a cold to the hospital as family followed multiple times, you will not be able to place a constructive opinion. The real world isn’t an episode of ER. Your criticism is expected however hind sight and an outsider vision is 20/20.

  • Lisa

    Just wondering why Lifecare had a squad in Cleveland? If they need to transport a patient to a facility out of Lorain County why don’t they call Donald Martins to do the transport?

    • getyourfactsstraight

      Lifecare has certain trucks that are staffed to take transports, these trucks are extra (in addition to the 4 Er trucks) that are on though out the day to take out of town transports such as Cleveland transports. This is not to say that an Er truck has never taken a transport to Cleveland but this only happens if the staffed transport trucks are out of town already and facilities call in multiple out of town trips. Lifecare does a lot more then just Er runs. They have a wheel chair and transport division that take people to such things as dialysis, doctors appointments, etc. So there is no need call Donald Martins. Maybe you should NOT try to stir the pot and get all the facts before you make such comments. That truck if it actually were in Cleveland has nothing to do with this incident.

  • getyourfactsstraight

    Has anyone considered the fact that this crew had walked into a murder scene unprotected with no way of defending themselves with the accused criminal interacting with them face to face? This could be a completely different story but the focus is on the times. I’m not saying that no wrong doing happened during this incident but we all need to keep in mind that this whole issue stems from the inaccurate call from the accused criminal and the 911 dispatcher not relaying the male was bleeding although it was obviously heard in the tapes. This 911 dispatcher was more concerned with what the male had to eat that day and how drunk he was then that fact that the female caller told him he was bleeding. Lets also keep in mind that it took approximately 2 mins for 911 to contact Lifecare to have an ambulance dispatched in the first place and did not call back to tell the crew that the male was bleeding and possibly stabbed. This information being relayed would have had LPD contacted and dispatched which could have made had them at the scene and the crew would have had no issues finding the place. To me this all could have been completely better if the 911 dispatcher would have listened a little more and not concerned himself with the males intoxication level.

  • Union rights

    super K on 8/16/13

    • getyourfactsstraight

      Just so you know since it seems you may have a lack in ambulance education those are wheel chair vans…. they call them ambulettes, they only transport people in wheel chairs or people that use walkers. Those are NOT AMBULANCES if you look real close they don’t even have emergency lights!

      • Union rights

        Yes I know there just wheel chair vans but if they group together what’s stopping the emergency squads from doing the same. The other point is that lifecare squads have been known to respond from other stations that are not in the city that the emergency is in (Avon , Amherst ) flying though other city’s just cuz lifecare cares more about there hospital to hospital transports cuz that’s there money maker. Plain and simple private ambulances are not the answer for city ems

  • Monique Guerrero

    So, I think it’s funny that everyone is assuming she is just this evil woman because she stabbed him or even that it is her fault that the stabbing occured in the first place. In an article about the incident, 3 days prior to this one it detailed the neighbor accounts of their relationship::::::::

    A neighbor described Carter as quiet. Kerry Mason, Vincent Mason’s wife, said Carter was a health care worker who walked with her head down in and out of the apartment per instructions of Phillips.
    “He said, ‘That’s what she’s supposed to do and that’s how I taught her,’ ” Kerry Mason said. “That’s how he talks. That’s his demeanor.”

    Kerry Carter said Phillips would sometimes arrive home and ask if another man had been in his apartment when he was away.

    “We’d just look at him like he was crazy,” she said. “Then he’ll go in and the next thing you know, you can hear the commotion of her hollering stop. It’s just sad.”

    http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2013/08/12/woman-charged-in-stabbing-death/

    —–

    So, a woman that has been emotionally and most likely physically abused, stabs the person that has tormented her. A person with a record of domestic violence and stalking. And no one thinks that this incident could prevent someone from telling the truth to the 911 dispatcher. Some of the victim’s family is saying she gave herself the bruises, which doesn’t really match up with how their neighbors detailed their relationship.

    One stab wound toward the woman’s abuser is not an expressed intent to kill. It’s self defense.

    I don’t look at her as a criminal when I read the articles. I see her as a survivor who is now being abused by her community and the court system.

    By people that care about the 15 minute response rate and not about why a man that has stalking and domestic violence on his record was allowed to walk around his neighborhood with a pipe and nunchucks. Two previous menacing complaints at the apartment led to nothing.

    I’m sure the victim that died had some good qualities and no one deserves to die. But for his family to say that she gave herself the bruises and he was just a ‘happy go lucky guy’ is apparently not the case when looked through the eyes of the people that lived by them and really got to see the good and bad. Eyewitnesses stated it sounded as if Carter was trying to revive him.

    The 15 minutes as a response is terrible, but it was appropriately addressed. And the wound itself, was fatal.

    So, now what message are we sending to women that are abused? That they really do have nothing? That if it’s a life and death situation, hopefully you just hurt him enough to get away, but you can still expect charges to be pressed?

    This is 100% sickening.

  • Monique Guerrero

    Just to also add in, high levels of stress can even induce periods of brief psychosis, so her saying a different story in the 911 recording is a completely possible gut reaction and she didn’t sound calm or collected in the recording. She needs help and instead she is jailed as if she is a danger.

  • Angela Fuller

    dominoes would have gotten there sooner

  • jane smith

    be a paramedic in the streets of Lorain for just one night and then you can judge that call…….