I-Team: ‘Communication Confusion, Response Limitations’ To Blame For Airport Death
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The head of Philadelphia Firefighters Union now says a combination of communication confusion and response limitations help lead to delays in providing Advanced Life Support care to a woman, who later died, after collapsing inside a restroom in Terminal “E” at Philadelphia International Airport January 17th.
An exclusive CBS 3 I-Team Investigation first revealed 39-year-old Jennifer Moore died after waiting nearly 40 minutes for medics. Dispatch records obtained by the I-Team indicate that, after the airport’s only advanced life support unit was tied up on another call, three additional units were dispatched. However, the records show, all three returned to their firehouses before reaching Terminal “E” where Mrs. Moore was gradually growing worse. (see related story)
Gault says the nearest unit, stationed at the airport, was recalled in less than three minutes, because, under departmental guidelines, they cannot respond into an “unsecured” section of the airport, where Mrs. Moore was located.
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The fire union president also said that two other arriving units were erroneously “waved off” by airport personnel, the medics, because of confusion among three separate radio systems in use on airport emergencies, never realizing they were only a short distance away from where Mrs. Moore lay dying, desperately in need of help.
As of Thursday, city officials, who have promised a full investigation, have provided no answers or explanation about the events leading up to Mrs. Moore’s death.
There are no indications that, in the time since the January 17th incident, any changes or improvements have been made in advanced life support services at the airport.
The I-Team investigation also found that Philadelphia, with one Advanced Life Support Unit stationed at the airport, has fewer than Los Angeles with three, San Francisco with three, and Washington Dulles with four. Both Los Angeles and San Francisco are larger than Philadelphia, and Dulles handles fewer passengers.
Reported by Walt Hunter, CBS 3