Detroit EMT refuses to respond to infant in cardiac arrest

The EMT told her boss in an internal investigation ‘I’m not about to be on no scene 10 minutes doing CPR’


DETROIT — A Detroit Fire Department EMT, less than a mile away from the home of an infant in cardiac arrest, refused to respond according to two internal investigations. The child was revived, but died later.

The 8-month-old infant was 0.9 miles away from the quick response SUV of EMT Ann Marie Thomas, but Thomas took six minutes to reach the incident and then parked her unit on a street corner away from the incident. Thomas told dispatchers unit "33 is in position on Pembroke around the corner from the scene," reported WDIV.

In the investigation report, Thomas told her boss, "I'm not about to be on no scene 10 minutes doing CPR, you know how these families get."

A supervisor, in the dispatch audio, is heard ordering Thomas, who was just a few streets away after a previous call, to get to the house. "Thirty-three, I’m going to need you to make that scene," said the Detroit Fire EMS supervisor. "You’re going to have to make patient contact."

Dispatch continued to update Thomas, the lead paramedic on Romeo 33. "Uh, Romeo 33? Updated information that the child is not breathing. The baby was hooked up to an oxygen machine because it was premature. Romeo 33?"

An ambulance, Medic 51, was also dispatched and given additional information. "Romeo 33, Medic 51, be advised CPR is being performed on your scene. Romeo 33, Medic 51. CPR is being performed by the baby's mother."

The ambulance transported the infant to the hospital where she was revived and then died the next morning.

"EMT Thomas was immediately removed from duty following this incident," said Edsel Jenkins, Detroit Fire Commissioner. "She has since filed an appeal. As executive fire commissioner, I have the ability to make the ultimate determination."

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