Bereaved son billed for ambulance that failed to save his father

By Arturo Garcia
Saturday, February 9, 2013 18:41 EDT
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Durand Ford Jr. says he was billed for ambulance that failed to save his dad's life
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A Washington D.C. man is complaining after being sent a bill for nearly $800 for ambulance services that failed to save his father’s life.

“I feel angry. Upset,” Durand Ford Jr. told WRC-TV on Friday. “I’m disturbed that we even received this bill.”

The bill for $780.85 stems from Ford’s call to DC Fire & EMS (DCFEMS) on New Year’s Eve when his father, 71-year-old Durand Ford Sr., began having problems breathing.

Records show the younger Ford called 911 at 1:25 a.m. that night. But while the fire department dispatched a vehicle to his house nine minutes later, no ambulances were available. DCFEMS officials called for assistance from Prince George County, more than seven miles away, 22 minutes later. A medical unit from Prince George County arrived at Ford’s home at 1:58 a.m., by which point the elder Ford had died.

Now Ford is calling for an investigation. And at least one member of the DC Council, Yvette Alexander, seems to have taken notice.

“Based on my experience in similar circumstances, DCFEMS has not billed [victims' families],” she told the station. “This seems quite unusual and I will help the family resolve this matter.”

Watch WRC’s report on the Ford family’s complaint against DCFEMS, aired Friday, below.

View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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