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Dad Dies Waiting for Ambulance, Son Gets Billed

Washington, DC, man feels 'angry, upset'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2013 2:40 PM CST
Dad Dies Waiting for Ambulance, Son Gets Billed
An ambulance on call.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Durand Ford, Jr's father died before an ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital. Then the Ford family received an ambulance bill: $780.85. "I feel angry. Upset," Ford tells NBC Washington. "I'm disturbed that we even received the bill." The Washington, DC, resident says his family called 911 in the early hours of Jan. 1 when his 71-year-old father had trouble breathing. By the time the ambulance showed up 30 minutes later, his father was dead.

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Official records agree: Ford called at 1:25am, a fire truck arrived at 1:47am, and the tardy ambulance came at 1:57am. "We’re still grieving about the situation," says Ford. "[We’re] very angry about what happened and the service we did not receive from the district." But DC Councilwoman Yvette Alexander says fire and emergency services don't normally bill under such circumstances: "This seems quite unusual, and I will help the family resolve this matter." (Read more ambulance stories.)

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