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Dispatchers On Strike Night of Delayed Response

A Toronto (Ont.) coroner’s inquest heard testimony from EMS comm center supervisors that a union-called strike may have forced them to perform several tasks at once, on the same night a heart attack victim waited 35 minutes for an ambulance. James Hearst, 59, appeared intoxicated to a caller in the lobby of an apartment building in June 2009, and an ambulance crew decided to stage and wait for police for 20 minutes, rather than immediately respond to the scene. But EMS dispatcher Ryan Leblanc testified Monday that he may have been performing multiple tasks when he took the 911 call reporting Hearst. “A lot of…jobs were condensed so that one person would be doing more than one job,” he told the panel. It’s not clear from the testimony if staffing contributed to the delayed response. Read more about the incident here and Leblanc’s testimony here.

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