Ambulance response time not delayed by construction, official says

Ambulance response time not delayed by construction, official says »Play Video
The city put up this sound barrier and the family of Delylah Wormer says it may have contributed to the time it took an ambulance to reach their house.

VANCOUVER, Wash. – While a family contends an ambulance look too long to respond to their emergency because of road construction, an official said Tuesday the response time was actually faster than average.

In a Monday KATU story, the Wormer family said precious minutes were lost that could have saved their daughter because the ambulance couldn't get to them fast enough because of construction around their house.

The family made the difficult decision to take their 13-month-old girl, Delylah, off life support on Tuesday. She is currently at Randall Children's Hospital.

While the Wormers say it took about 15 minutes for the ambulance to come to their house, a spokeswoman for American Medical Response -- the company that operates the ambulance -- said that number was actually seven minutes and 21 seconds.

That's faster than the average response time of eight minutes.

Asked whether there was any hang up with crews responding to the home because of construction, AMR spokeswoman Lucie Drum said: "Based on the information that I've received from operations, there was really no undue delay due to the construction in the area."

The family had thought a newly built sound barrier erected by the city in front of their home could have perhaps contributed to the perceived delay.

Drum said the ambulance crew were able to easily walk around the sound barrier.

Delylah has spinal muscular atrophy. It affects her lungs and muscles. She makes a lot of trips to the hospital. And last week the ambulance had to come to her.

She had stopped breathing. Her mother, Jasmine, did CPR while her friend called 9-1-1.

"He was trying to ask me for directions, because they could not find the house," Jasmine said Monday. "Finally, he decided he had to go out on the road and flag them down."

The family has had conversations with the city about their daughter's condition. On Tuesday, they'll have their last conversation with their daughter.

"If we can help one family stay together – whether it's an adult who needs a kidney, or a child who needs a liver – if just one family stays together, it means something," said Delylah's father, Erin.

Delylah's organs will be donated, the family said.

A spokesperson for the city of Vancouver said in a statement, "Our hearts go out to the family for living with this heartbreaking situation."

The Wormers contacted us about what was happening. If there's something you feel we should know about, email us at newstips@katu.com.

This story was updated to reflect comments from the ambulance company.