Protocol Not Followed by D.C. EMTs, Woman Later Dies

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An emotional plea for answers from a family whose story is bringing renewed scrutiny to the D-C fire department. 50-year-old Brigitte Boone died last week just hours after being seen by EMTs. Her family is alleging those EMT's did not follow protocol. News4's Chris Gordon spoke with Boone's daughter.

    Within months, a second D.C. resident passed away after protocol was not followed by emergency responders, sources tell News4. 

    Last Wednesday morning, 50-year-old Brigitte Boone woman fell and couldn't get up at her northeast D.C. home. Her 17-year-old daughter Brittany Boone called 911 for assistance just before 7:30 a.m.

    Protocol Not Followed by D.C. EMTs, Woman Later Dies

    [DC] Protocol Not Followed by D.C. EMTs, Woman Later Dies
    Within months, a second D.C. resident passed away after protocol was not followed by emergency responders, sources tell News4's Mark Segraves.

    "That morning I was supposed to be at school," Brittany Boone said. "She asked me just to stay with her through the morning." 

    The response time of firefighters and EMTs -- which has clouded the department's reputation several times during the past couple of years -- was not an issue in this case. 

    The question surrounding this incident stems from the woman's refusal to be treated or hospitalized.

    "She refused care," D.C. Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul Quander said. "They placed her back in an appropriate position in her home and then they left."

    Less than six hours later, another 911 call was made. Brigitte Boone had been found unresponsive. 

    She was later pronounced dead. 

    Multiple sources tell News4 Brigitte Boone had told the EMTs she was a diabetic and had lupus. Medics also noticed she had dry lips.

    "I just don't understand how they could just leave her there without taking any vitals, without getting a signed release," Brittany Boone said. "Its hard for me to understand."

    All are warning signs that usually trigger follow-up procedures by EMTs.

    "We have protocol and it's there for a reason," Quander said. "We trust that our personnel will follow that protocol and if they don't, there are steps we follow to be sure they do. We will take a look at it and hold people responsible for their actions."

    The Boone family is now represented by lawyer William Lightfoot.

    "The government needs to step up and hold these people accountable," Lightfoot said. "This is not the first time we've seen first responders act inappropriately in violation of the rules."

    The case mirrors the death of Jose Perez, who collapsed outside his apartment building in January. Police and firefighters did not take him to the hospital because he -- like the D.C. woman who died last Wednesday -- refused treatment.

    His cause of death has been ruled accidental by acute ethanol intoxication.

    The firefighters who responded to the Perez call have been taken out of service while they receive training. They will likely face discipline even though officials maintain they were not responsible for Perez's death.

    "He refused treatment but they did not document it," Quander said. "They didn't follow protocol."

    Two firefighters involved in Wednesday's death are also being trained on how to handle these cases, sources tell Segraves.

    "This is ridiculous," D.C. Council member Tommy Wells said. "I'm going to have to have another oversight hearing to see if everyone knows the protocol. Does everybody understand what they are supposed to do? This cannot happen. This sounds like a case where this death may have been preventable."

    Just last week, it was announced a D.C. fire lieutenant would retire without discipline following the death of Medric Mills, who collapsed outside a firehouse and was refused treatment.

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