SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Chatham Emergency Services (CES) fired back after being accused of failing to respond quickly to a deadly shooting scene in Savannah Wednesday night.
“Something that has bothered me literally all day. Last night there was a shooting. For whatever reason, it was well over 20 minutes before EMS showed up,” Mayor Van Johnson said.
That’s what Johnson said during Thursday’s city council meeting in response to the deadly shooting. The shooting happened around 10:30 p.m. on the 1200 block of New Castle Street where a young man lost his life.
“And I understand there might be other things going on but in this case, we had somebody who was critically wounded,” Johnson said. “And in those cases from personal experience, I will tell you that CPR doesn’t work. You need transport.”
WSAV spoke with the Savannah Fire Department (SFD) who says their response time was four minutes, firefighters on scene performed CPR, yet transportation to the hospital for the victim falls under the jurisdiction of CES.
“And someone suffering a traumatic injury such as a gunshot needs to be transported immediately,” Johnson said.
A CES spokesperson told News 3 that dispatch records indicate that allegations of a 20 minute or longer response time are false.
CES says a paramedic arrived on scene in under seven minutes without an ambulance and began to work on the patient. An ambulance arrived nine minutes after the paramedic because five ambulances were dropping patients off at hospitals — while others were still on calls.
CES said it’s important to note that the gunshot victim had no vital signs during the paramedic’s initial assessment. Meanwhile, the mayor wonders if changes are needed.
“And if we need to make adjustments. There has to be some sense of reliability,” Johnson said.
CES says the paramedic performed heroically because she was met with a hostile crowd in an extremely dangerous situation.