911 Human Error Blamed in Girl’s Death in NYC

June 7, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

New York City officials on Friday said that human error delayed emergency medical workers from responding to where a 4-year-old girl was hit by a car and died.

“It wasn’t picked up by the person that should have been reading that screen,” New York City Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano told ABC News.

A review by FDNY found that a several-minute gap existed between when the call popped up on the computer screen and when the ambulance was dispatched.

“They just failed to read the screen,” Cassano added. “We’ll deal with that.”

Cassano told the New York Times that the error was not an indicator of a citywide problem.

“The person responsible for reading that screen did not read that screen,” he said. “Somebody made a mistake, and we are looking into it.”

The child, Ariel Russo, sustained massive injuries after being hit on a sidewalk in the Upper West Side neighborhood in Manhattan before she died. Witnesses and city officials said she was still alive when the ambulance arrived.

“I don’t know if that four minutes would have made any difference,” Cassano said, reported NY1. “There were people on the scene administering to her. There were police officers on the scene. I know there were civilians on the scene. But for the family thinking that it made a difference, its just, you know, its unfortunate.”

There have been errors in the new 911 system since it was implemented in late May, when there was an 11-minute outage, according to ABC.

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