Ambulance service terrible

The last thing I ever expected on November  1, 2011 was a call from my brother-in-law, Paul Weber, saying that he had requested an ambulance for himself. He did not specify the reason but asked if I would go to the house since he was alone.

 It was a short mile trip to his house and when I arrived he explained what he was experiencing.

Paul loved to hunt, participated in fishing tournaments. He had his own boat to care for and loved camping in a remote area of Canada.   Had cut most of the wood he burned in his outdoor furnace. His job at Robinson Industries included moving large sheets of plastic and pallets.

  Although he no previous history of heart problems I had to accept that he might be having a heart   attack.

He appeared to be in discomfort rather than severe distress.  He gave me possible places to try to contact his wife, Judy (my sister). I did as he requested and while waiting for the ambulance to arrive I     thought things would be alright although at one point I heard him ask,  “I wonder what Is taking the ambulance so long to get here?”

 About five minutes before the ambulance arrived I heard Paul Say “Deb, this isn’t good, this isn’t good.” He became unconscious, but was still breathing. He took his last breaths as the Paramedics came to the door.

  CPR treatment was started and after fire rescue personnel arrived Paul was transported to the hospital in Clare where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

 I would like to think our family would want answers to our original questions even if Paul had survived his heart attack.  Why did neighbors, who live on another road, see the ambulance going by headed in a direction away from Paul’s location? Then turn around? None of the neighbors or family members who witnessed the approach of the ambulance saw any sense of urgency in their travel speed.

 The records supplied from 911dispatch in Harrison showed that Paul was clear in both in his need, and   his location. I want to add that our Township (Arthur) requires all residences to have a green and white reflective house sign in their yard to help guide emergency personnel. The 911 records also seemed to show a thirteen minute delay.

 What if the paramedics arrived and started treatment while Paul was still conscious and alert?

 The weather was dry and clears (probably why people saw the approaching ambulance) on that evening so visibility and road conditions should not have impeded travel.

 In a recent Clare sentinel article Jason MacDonald from MMR Said roads added to travel time however I would like to point out that because of our location, close to the eastern county line any ambulance would have to approach from the west and the crossroad is paved.

Using the trip odometer on my own vehicle I checked the line of travel from the MMR base in Farwell and URS in Harrison. For the mileage to my home and to Paul’s location, from either direction  the  only  dirt/gravel road was the last mile of the 17 miles that Mr. Macdonald says the ambulance travelled to Judy  and  Paul’s home. The paved roads are in good shape also.  I discovered that united rescue is actually a little closer to my home.

 Maybe the records from MMR would supply some answers. However the original request from Paul’s widow was denied. In The Clare county review article from February 10th, Jason Macdonald said a family   can access run records through the HIPPA compliance officer. Though in the Clare sentinel article from February 21st, MacDonald now states that because MMR is a private entity they do not have to supply the requested information.


 Who should be concerned about their ambulance service?

Anyone who lives Clare County

Anyone who works in Clare County

Anyone who travels thru Clare county a

Anyone such as trained first responders, fire fighters, police

Officers who respond to emergencies and find themselves waiting for an ambulance along with family members and/ or by-standers.

Anyone who is considering moving to the area. Or who uses the area for recreational fun.

 Did I miss anyone?

 Debbie Fitzpatrick

A life- long resident of Arthur Township