Local News

Injured High School Football Player Waits 30 Minutes For Ambulance

Posted September 16, 2002

— Apex EMS took 30 minutes to reach an injured high school football player at Athens Drive field two Fridays ago.

Parents of injured player Chaz Bailey say they wondered what took the EMS so long.

Middle Creek and West Johnston High Schools played a game on Friday, Sept. 6 and Bailey, number 2 on the Junior Varsity team, was taken out of the game early with an injury.

"The guy put the ball of his helmet in the middle of his chest," said Charles Bailey, Chez's father.

"I was sitting with my hand on his chest I could feel his heart pounding, he just kept coughing up blood. He had a look in his eyes and he said 'Mom, I'm scared,'" said Chez's mother, Patricia.

According to Bailey's parents, school officials told them an ambulance was on the way. The nearest EMS station was located a few minutes away from Athens Drive field, but it took 29 minutes before the unit arrived, said the Baileys.

"I just kept saying, 'Where are the paramedics? Where are they? How long is it going to take?'" said Mrs. Bailey.

Raleigh 911 dispatched the call to Apex EMS, which is not the closest EMS station to Athens Drive field.

The medical team went to Middle Creek High School, where Athens students attended school last year while their old building was remodeled.

According to Apex EMS, 911 dispatchers canceled the call. At 8:00 p.m., 20 minutes after the first call, 911 sent the Varsity Drive EMS unit to the Athens Drive field.

"I rode in the front seat with the driver and he did say they were sent to the wrong place," said Mrs. Bailey.

Chaz Bailey was treated for a bruised lung and ribs and is cleared to play again soon.

Medical personnel are required at every high school football game, but ambulances are not mandatory.

Seven high school football players and one Pop Warner player died in 2001 as a direct result of football injuries in the U.S.

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