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Quinn Calls For More Ambulances After 30-Minute Wait For Response

Council Speaker Says 911 System Worked
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (file/Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (file/Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — City Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn has gotten the answers she was looking for after it took more than 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive to assist a City Hall intern at a Quinn event on Tuesday.

One day after Quinn blasted the 911 response time, she met with FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano and Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway.

She said that meeting reassured her that the delay was not caused by any sort of glitch with the 911 system.

“The 911 system worked yesterday. What happened yesterday was another problem — we didn’t have enough ambulances out there,” Quinn told reporters, including WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond. “Today, there are 20 extra ambulances because of the expectation of high volume. So I think that is an absolute step in right direction.”

Emergency response time has recently come under scrutiny as the city has rolled out a new 911 system.

Quinn said she would now like to see minimum response times for low-priority calls.

It took more than 30 minutes and a call to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to get an ambulance to the young intern, who collapsed at Quinn’s outdoor event in Williamsburg on Tuesday.

“It was a serious situation. Now, it ended up not being a devastating situation, but my job is to help and protect New Yorkers,” said Quinn. “And you can bet your bottom dollar I’m going to use the resources of my office and my position to push every time I see a New Yorker in need.”

The FDNY released a statement Tuesday after Quinn slammed the response time.

“Every call for medical assistance is important and ambulance dispatching is prioritized so life-threatening calls — for a choking child, cardiac arrest or chest pains — take precedence over non-life-threatening injuries — where the patient is breathing, alert and communicating,” the statement said. “That was the case here. In addition, the patient was being treated by a police officer who is an EMT, so care was being administered from the moment the incident occurred. The call was appropriately tagged as not being a high-priority, life-threatening call.”

Quinn identified the victim as “Yvette,” saying she was an 18-year-old intern with Council member Diana Reyna’s office.

The woman went home later Tuesday and was resting, Quinn said.

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