Tonight I finally found enough time to sit down and try to catch up after being inundated with work since Sunday. There were two specific news items that I came across having to do with the snowstorm and in particular the New York City response.
The New York Times has a report of how the snow blocked hundreds of ambulances. The article pulls three stories out of the city, two of which involve volunteer ambulance corps that highlights the fragmentation of the New York City EMS system. The third and last story is just simply tragic. What first concerned me about these stories was how many other stories like these were out there?
Then I saw that the Wall Street Journal has a report of a woman that waited 30 hours for an ambulance. If that story sounds familiar, its probably because it closely resembles the case of Curtis Mitchell who died after waiting 30 hours for an ambulance in Pittsburgh back in February of this year. There were an awful lot of issues with the Pittsburgh case, especially Michael Huss shifting blame, and it looks like those issues may have been repeated.
De ja blizzard.
I do have to give Mayor Bloomberg credit thus far in not laying the blame on the responders who were out there climbing through the drifts for blocks to get patients out or spending hours digging out their ambulance with nothing more than a backboard and a long splint. Of course the lack of inter-agency communication, the lack of timely instructions provided to the public, and the seeming absence of snowplows on residential city streets are all issues that he and the administration will be grilled about and held accountable for.
Of course this makes you wonder how many deaths have been attributed to the blizzard?
As far as I can tell from media reports, the city is reporting none.