Hospital paramedics were jammed on the phone, people with medical episodes waited 90 minutes for an ambulance

One had a frank seizure. In an unrelated incident, another person drank too much, too quickly, and passed out on the floor.

These were just two of the calls that Jersey City police responded to during the chaos of Monday night and early Tuesday morning. Officers waited for an ambulance from Jersey City Medical Center. and they waited. and waited.

A police officer relayed on the police radio from 11:00 p.m. to midnight that he was waiting for 40 minutes.

“This man is fainting and unconscious,” said one police officer, hoping it would spur a faster response.

An explanation soon followed. “From the MC, they said they had a lot of unconscious patients and it overwhelmed all the calls…they are doing their best to reach us. All we can do is wait for the bus to leave.”

The reason: Jersey City Medical Center officials said there were no mutual aid partners available.

A spokeswoman for the Jersey City Medical Center told the Jersey Journal that paramedics at the hospital “were hit with an unexpected spike in call volume that was twice the normal amount.” All calls are screened and prioritized using a nationally recognized call screening protocol that helps assign priority levels to calls based on patient complaints. ”

One of the police officers who responded put the matter in perspective and hinted at the possible tragic effects of keeping people going through a medical episode waiting.

“I want to ask (JCMC) what to do if this man has a seizure,” he said on the police radio.

Almost an hour later, a call came in on the police radio. “From 22:26 (10:26 pm) on the night tour, we have received a call that a man has collapsed in the caterer. We are approaching an hour and a half and still no ambulance has arrived.”

At least one police officer from the midnight tour was dispatched to aid the police officer, but was confronted by the police at the scene, although the man, apparently unconscious from drug use, is now awake. Only after the supervisor has had a conversation as to whether I can wait or not, will I have my own for EMS.

Jersey City spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione said there were 32 emergency calls between 6 p.m. He declined to say how many calls he answered Monday night.

A JCMC spokesperson said, “Life-threatening conditions have higher priority.” “In the event of a large number of emergency assistance requests, our standard response is to work with mutual aid agencies to assist. Unfortunately, they were unable to assist. Unfortunately, the missing report was delayed.”

JCMC officials did not disclose which other hospitals they sought mutual aid from.

At least one police officer asked about workarounds. Perhaps they will be able to transport the patient themselves. “There is a man who wants to go to the MC. . . There are no buses (ambulances) available, so we are considering whether we can transport him to the MC.”

The reply from the sergeant on duty was prompt, “That’s negative. We don’t have that authority.”

Over the course of two hours, multiple police officers asked about the possibility of mutual assistance, assistance from other hospital paramedic teams. “Or is (JCMC) the only game in town?”

JCMC officials did not say when paramedics learned of the backlog of patients on the waiting list.

Jersey City officials didn’t seem overly concerned that officers spent 30 minutes to two hours waiting for an ambulance with people in distress rather than a police crackdown. They did not respond to questions about trickle-down effects of ambulance delays or hospital liability.

A public security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak, said it was a tragedy.

“There aren’t enough ambulances, what if someone has a heart attack or stroke and the ambulance doesn’t come?” they said.

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