ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) — The Alexandria Fire Department is investigating a case of an ambulance driver who got lost on the way to the hospital while a man was dying from a gunshot wound.
“I can’t imagine someone driving uh EMS truck, okay an ambulance and not knowing how to get to the hospital,” said Patrice Hall, the victim’s mother.
On Saturday morning along First Street in Alexandria, near Route, her 23-year-old son, Saquan Hall, was shot and killed. When she arrived to the scene, she got in the front seat of the ambulance transporting her son.
“I kept yelling in the back, ‘Breathe Saquan, breathe,” she said.
The ambulance was headed for Inova Alexandria Hospital, but during the ride medics got a pulse. So they changed directions and headed instead to George Washington Hospital.
This is protocol for such an emergency, officials said. But the switch confused the driver.
“They leave first street going on Braddock Road,” Hall said. “They get to commonwealth avenue and stop in the middle of the street.”
The driver was a rookie firefighter EMT. After he got confused, the other first responder got behind the wheel to finish the drive to George Washington Hospital. That is where Saquan Hall died from his injuries.
The Alexandria Fire Chief confirmed the mother’s story and blames what he said was a 30-second delay, on the driver’s inexperience.
“The total transport time from when the first left the scene and got to the hospital was eleven min,” Fire Chief Robert Dubé said.
The driver had 7 months of training, plus 3 months of field work before this incident, WUSA 9 news learned.
There were four first responders on board that ambulance. This incident may result in some policy changes regarding rookie drivers, Dubé said, but that is one reason why so many responders ride in the ambulance.
The driver did the right thing by stopping immediately and not trying to guess which way to go, Dubé said. It is not clear if that would have made a difference for Saquan.
“I’m not gonna be okay,” his mother said. “I’m not going to be okay.”