An emergency services staff member at a Tokyo fire station in Tachikawa city misheard the dispatch address, causing a delay in the ambulance’s arrival and ability to provide care for the patient, who later died, police reported Monday.
At around 7:20 a.m. on Monday, the Tokyo Fire Department Tachikawa Fire Station station received a report of a medical emergency in Tachikawa city’s Kashiwacho area, Fuji TV reported. However, the dispatcher, a 48-year-old man who took the emergency call, said he mistakenly heard “Sakaecho” and dispatched an ambulance to a different area.
Emergency services staff eventually realized the mistake, but the ambulance arrived at the correct address after a 14-minute delay.
The patient, a 73-year-old man, was found in a state of cardio-respiratory arrest and was taken to a hospital, but was later pronounced dead.
According to police, emergency services staff are required to clarify an address twice prior to dispatching any personnel, though in this case the worker only asked once. He also failed to ask for the telephone number of caller (the man's wife).
At this stage, it is not clear whether the patient died as a result of the ambulance delay.
A representative of the Tokyo Fire Department apologized for the incident, saying that “a case of this kind should never occur.”© Japan Today