Paramedics reached Ontario girl in 21 mins, not 45 mins: Probe

Melanie Barlow snuggles with her 4 year old daughter Eva. January 16,2013



OTTAWA - An investigation into why it took so long for Prescott-Russell, ON, paramedics to reach a seriously ill girl in a school has concluded emergency services did nothing wrong.

In a press release sent out after business hours Friday officials said it took an ambulance only 21 minutes to reach Eva Barlow in Russell Jan. 10 not 45 minutes like her parents claimed in a QMI Agency article published Wednesday.

Four-year-old Eva has trouble breathing and was turning blue at Mother Teresa Catholic School when a teacher called an ambulance.

Her father said she was gasping for air by the time paramedics arrived.

But Michel Chretien, director of emergency services for the county, said in their report paramedics followed all of their protocols "to the letter."

MORE: Ambulance took 45 minutes to help Ottawa child: Parents

"The paramedics responded within the appropriate time frame given the other ongoing calls," he said.

Five of its eight ambulances were already in service at the time, and the nearest paramedics travelled 26.8 km from Casselman and arrived in 21 minutes.

The ambulance responded on the highest emergency priority and offered "the highest level of care," the investigation reveals.

But Russell Township fire chief and its mayor have called for another investigation to find out why the fire department wasn't also dispatched to help with the call.

Fire Chief Bruce Armstrong told QMI Friday the fire service is always called in cases of a life-threatening emergency.

The investigation indicates alerting fire and police services did not meet the required criterion.

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