Tragic Death in 911 Address Mix-Up

Six-year-old boy dies when 911 sends paramedics to wrong borough

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A 911 address mix-up may possibly be to blame for the death of six-year-old Ian Uro. Uro was pronounced dead on arrival at 9:45 a.m. when he was taken to the emergency room of the Beth Israel Medical Center.

    A six-year-old boy died yesterday after a ghastly 911 address mix-up.

    Mariela Lazaro called 911 when her son, Ian Uro, became desperately short of breath. The call was received at 9:03 a.m., and in response, firefighters and paramedics rushed to the given address, 277 Avenue C --  but were sent to Avenue C in Brooklyn instead of Manhattan.

    The NYPD told the New York Post that the call was from a hysterical woman who did not specify the borough when giving her address, and was too distraught to respond to the dispatchers questions of the cross streets.

    The emergency responders arrived at the correct address at 9:22 a.m. -- 19 minutes after the original call.

    Sources told the Post that the child was already dead by then.

    The phone number of the incoming call was from a 212 area code, and the 911 computer system automatically traced the call and located the address to be in Manhattan. But when relaying the call electronically to the EMS, the dispatcher hit "Brooklyn" on the computer.

    The responders arrived at the Brooklyn address at 9:10 a.m. and discovered they were in the wrong place, confirming the mistake three minutes later.

    A dispatcher called the number back to ask the woman where she was.

    "She said, 'I'm here, I'm here… he's bleeding from the nose," and pleaded with them to "hurry," a source told the Post.

    The dispatcher then realized she was in Manhattan.

    The woman called 911 again at 9:16 a.m. and told them her location, and the paramedics arrived at the apartment six minutes later.

    Uro was pronounced dead on arrival at 9:45 a.m. when he was taken to the emergency room of the Beth Israel Medical Center.

    The Medical Examiner's Office says further forensic tests are being done on tissue samples and the cause of Uro's death is "pending." They have not yet committed to a single cause of death.

    Earlier this week on Monday afternoon, Uro was seen at the Beth Israel emergency room.

    "Ian was diagnosed with a viral condition and received appropriate care," said Jim Mandler, a spokesperson for Beth Israel. "He stayed in the ER for about an hour."

    Still concerned that Uro was not feeling well, Lazaro took Ian to see his primary care doctor on Wednesday, after which he was sent home to recuperate.

    According to the Post, the FDNY said the incident is "under review," and the NYPD said that this incident was not related to problems with the controversial Unified Call Taking system that allows callers to only speak to 911 operators and not fire dispatchers.

    This fatal mix-up follows a number of previous blunders, including a Nov. 7 Queens basement fire that took the lives of three men after the dispatcher initially sent six fire trucks to the wrong address. That same month, a Brooklyn fire killed two toddlers and their father when firefighters were again sent to the wrong address.

    The city has said these tragedies were caused by glitches that had been worked out.