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911 ‘human error’ delayed help to 4-year-old killed by SUV

Posted at 12:49 PM, Jun 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-08 12:51:35-04

Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano is slamming new reports that a crucial EMS delay may have contributed to the death of a four-year-old girl.

Ariel Russo was hit by an SUV on the Upper West Side while the driver fled police.

“There was nothing wrong with the system, the system worked except that the person responsible for reading that screen, didn’t read the screen,” Cassano said to reporters.

The FDNY acknowledges that police on the scene called into 9-1-1 and the messages were received at dispatch at 8:15:40, but it wasn’t until 8:19:42 — four minutes later — the dispatcher on duty alerted EMS crews.

Those four crucial minutes of delay are now being looked at and investigated.

The Commissioner said that the dispatcher on duty has been interviewed and apparently acknowledged looking away from their screen because they got up for a shift change.

But could the response time have saved a young girl’s life?

That question is one we may never have the answer to, according to the Commissioner.

“I don’t know if four minutes would’ve made any difference. There were people on the scene administering aid, there were police officers on the scene, I know civilians were on the scene,” he said.