Volume 22, Number 03 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | May 29 - June 4, 2009
Slow response to seizure charged
Eva Delgado, 64, died after a seizure at the Grand St. Settlement’s Senior Center at 80 Pitt St. on Thursday morning, according to staff members who said it took three 911 calls and 20 minutes before help arrived from a nearby firehouse.
Delgado, recently retired from the staff at DeWitt Church on Rivington St., began feeling ill sometime before 11 a.m. and passed out at 11:06, when a Grand St. staff member who was attending her phoned 911 and gave what she thought was sufficient information before returning to the ailing woman.
Two more 911 calls were made before the victim began foaming at the mouth, according to Jessica Williamson, Grand St. communications director.
“Finally, a staff member, Wally Ruiz, ran to the fire station a block and a half away on Pitt St. to get help,” Williamson said. “They sent two trucks — two ambulances came, but I think they were from another fire station,” she said.
Delgado was taken to Beth Israel Hospital and arrived at 11:55 a.m. She was declared dead soon after, Williamson said.
Williamson spoke to a Fire Department information officer to find out about the delay.
“He thought the first caller hung up before giving all the information necessary. But she said she told the 911 operator everything before she hung up and went back to Eva,” Williamson said.
Grand St. Settlement’s executive director, Margarita Rosa, said, “It’s disturbing when someone is in serious medical distress and there is no response from a fire station and a police station that are only a block and a half away. We have as much right to get effective response as anybody else in the community.”
Spokespersons for the Police and Fire Departments did not respond to a request for comment.
— Albert Amateau