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News report: DC trauma code shooting victim waits half-hour for ambulance

Marino Marraco, WTTG-TV/FOX 5:

It is yet another delayed ambulance response to an emergency in the District.

A source tells FOX 5 that a man suffering from gunshot wounds on Chesapeake Street in Southeast D.C. Wednesday evening had to wait nearly 30 minutes for a transport to the hospital.

“They didn’t even have an ambulance close,” said one female witness. “The hospital is right up the street.”

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Witnesses say a heated argument between two men quickly escalated and turned violent. About 70 police officers actually heard those gunshots and raced to the scene. Eventually, firefighters made their way there as well.

“It was like a block party out here,” the witness said. “That’s how much people were out here.”

Although police and firefighters were in the area, there was still no ambulance to transport the victim.

“If that was the case, we could have put him in a car and took him,” said the witness. “That’s how long it took them to come.”

As crews performed chest compressions on the victim, police tried placing him in the back of a police wagon.

“He couldn’t fit,” she said. “He was too big. That’s how bad it was. He couldn’t fit at all.”

Finally, after reportedly waiting nearly a half hour for an ambulance, there was a call to medevac the patient. But the helicopter would land a block away in an open parking lot.

“Carried him down in one of those grey things that you hold and they carried him all the way to the corner,” the witness told us.

Seven people hoisted a medical board to carry the victim, and as they walked him to the helicopter, an ambulance finally arrives.

Police say the victim is currently in critical condition.

D.C. police have arrested 29-year-old Anthony Wade and charged him with assault with intent to kill.

In three weeks, the city will roll out a series of privately-contracted ambulances that will help run calls and help mend the deficiencies that currently plague the District when it comes to ambulance service.

FOX 5 has reached out to D.C. Fire and EMS and are still waiting for a response.

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