How does something like this happen in 2007?

An ambulance that rushed a dying Chicago Marathon runner from the race to the hospital apparently got lost on the way, authorities said.

The crew called Chicago dispatchers to report Schieber was in full cardiac arrest, and they planned to take him to the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said this week, but there’s no record of them seeking directions.

Niles Fire Chief Barry Mueller, however, said the crew did ask radio dispatchers for directions but got no response.

“That’s not unusual. The airwaves could be jammed,” Mueller said.

This could have been avoided with something as simple and inexpensive as a Garmin Nuvi GPS-based navigator. I’ve had the opportunity to use this gizmo in both large metropolitan areas and small Southern cities, and – so far – it has always known the best, fastest route to the programmed destinations.

That aside, why is an ambulance driver having to stop to ask directions in their own city? London cabbies have to have “the knowledge,” but EMTs in Chicago can’t be asked to know how to get to hospitals?


2 Responses to “Inexcusable?”

  1. jed Says:

    Given the stories I’ve read about people following bad GPS directions, and turning the wrong way into one-ways, etc., I’m not sure I want ambulance drivers to be using them. Especially dumbshit ambulance drivers.

  2. Greg Says:

    The question, “why is an ambulance driver having to stop to ask directions in their own city?” …. is an unfair one. Apparently this ambulance crew was from suburban Niles not the city of Chicago. It seems that some suburban ambulance crews were brought into the city to handle to the extra high demand caused by the weather. If the suburban crew did not get their requests for directions answered, why didn’t they continue to ask until someone responded?

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