Home | National | Washington, DC Firefighters refuse to help dying man

Washington, DC Firefighters refuse to help dying man

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
 Washington DC firefighters refused to help Medric "Cecil" Mills Jr, pictured, three times despite the fact he had collapsed right across the street from their firehouse and told concerned witnesses to call 911. Source: Supplied
Washington DC firefighters refused to help Medric "Cecil" Mills Jr, pictured, three times despite the fact he had collapsed right across the street from their firehouse and told concerned witnesses to call 911. Source: Supplied

THREE times people people went to a DC firehouse seeking help for a man who had collapsed across the street but they were told to call 911.

The Washington Post reports that Marie Mills held her 77-year-old father, Medric "Cecil" Mills Jr, in her arms in a Washington, DC, car park after he suffered a massive heart attack.

The pair was at a shopping centre to drop off a broken computer at a repair shop. They were walking out when Mr Mills stopped talking and tumbled to the pavement.

A number of witnesses noticed a firehouse across the street and raced to get help only to be told by firefighters that they couldn't respond unless someone called 911.

"Can you just come and help my dad?" Ms Mills screamed. "What are you going to do, let my dad die in the street?"

"Several people told me the guy behind the door wouldn’t open the door,” Ms Mills said. "He told them, ‘There’s nothing I can do if my lieutenant doesn’t tell me to go.'"

She said the same firefighter was seen later in the open bay door, leaning against a truck, with his arms folded.

Marie Mills

Heartbroken ... Marie Mills tried to get help for her father who had collapsed following a massive heart attack but despite a firehouse being right across the street, firefighters told her to call 911.

It took about 20 minutes for help to arrive and only then because a police officer flagged down a passing ambulance.

However it was too late - Mr Mills died later that afternoon.

"There are no words to describe how this city has failed," Ms Mills said.

His death is being investigated and 15 firefighters on duty that day have been called in to headquarters to explain their lack of action.

Neither side disputes the claim of how events transpired.

"I’m quite disturbed and disappointed by what appears to be an inappropriate response," said Paul A. Quander Jr., the deputy mayor for public safety.

Firehouse in Washington DC

The firehouse in Washington DC that refused to help a man that was dying across the road.

"Mr Mills was someone that worked for the District for a number of years, and the pain and the anguish that the family has gone through is unacceptable. There will be no rush to judgment, but we will be thorough, we will be precise and then we will act."

It comes despite Washington, DC being in the middle of implementing reforms about emergency responses after the 2006 death of retired New York Times reporter and editor David E. Rosenbaum, who died after emergency personnel mistook the effects of injuries from a vicious mugging for public intoxication and labelled the incident low-priority.

On New Year’s Day 2013, a 71-year-old man died of a heart attack after waiting more than 30 minutes for an ambulance on a day when one-third of the firefighters on duty had called in sick.

Edward Smith, president of the DC firefighters union, called Ms Mills to apologise.



Colorado News

Get the latest Colorado news, sports, weather, entertainment, business & political news and more from Colorado Newsday.
  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version
  • Plain text Plain text

Rate this article


Photo Galleries

PHOTOS: Plastic Surgery Celebrity Awkward family photos 
UPDATED: Faces of Meth PHOTOS: Celebrities all a-Twitter

More galleries ››

  1. Drunk tractor driver decapitates three people in head-on crash (1.00)

  2. Spoiled’ teen takes parents to court (1.00)

  3. Could the menopause be eliminated in 20 years? Scientist predicts ageing process could be halted or reversed through stem cell therapies  (1.00)

  4. Terms of Service (0)

  5. Colorado Newsday Privacy Policy (0)

  6. Kim Kardashian denied access to Vanity Fair party (0)

  7. Russian troops threaten to shoot Ukrainian soldiers in tense stand-off (0)

  8. Boxer vows to fight on – after 51st defeat in row (0)

  9. Forbes rich list names world’s youngest billionaires (0)

  10. Pregnant woman drives kids into ocean in Florida (0)

  11. Oprah Winfrey tells Lindsay Lohan to ‘cut the bull****’ in trailer for new reality show Lindsay (0)

  12. Denver Man Michael McGinley threatened to kill wife in phone call at DA’s office (0)

  13. Couple stole little girl's iPod in Aurora (0)

  14. Former director of Breckenridge Film Festival Dawna Foxx given 5 years for embezzling $300K (0)

  15. Knee injury to sideline Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan 6-8 weeks (0)

  16. Holding a rifle in high school: Chilling childhood photo of survivalist sniper who gunned down state trooper emerges as FBI put him on Most Wanted Fugitives list with a $100,000 reward (0)

  17. It's finally here! American man snaps up first iPhone 6 by reserving device online and choosing to pick it up in SYDNEY, beating out customers in general store queue... as hundreds of others wait to get theirs today (0)

  18. Scotland independence referendum results announced (0)

  19. Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington calls press conference to admit affair (0)

  20. Larry Ellison stepping down as Oracle CEO to become chairman (0)

  21. US stock market closing at record highs as Federal Reserve vows to keep interest rates at all-time low for 'considerable amount of time' (0)

  22. Dennis Lehane says films based on books shouldn't be like Demi Moore's 'Scarlet Letter' (0)

  23. Kendall Jenner models for Fendi at Milan Fashion Week (0)

  24. 'DILFS of Disneyland' Instagram account snaps attractive dads visiting with their kids (0)

  25. A tablet for every occasion: Amazon releases SIX new gadgets, including $200 high-end e-book, $149 'kid Kindle' aimed at toddlers and $99 budget Fire HD (0)

  26. No sniggering at the back! Astronomers discover the secret of vast cracks on the surface of the 'Frankenmoon' of Uranus (0)

  27. Call the Department of Education! One in three Americans can't name a single branch of the U.S. government, poll finds (0)

  28. Golf course employee, construction worker, and future football legend! Tom Brady reveals the humble resume he planned to use before his 11th hour 2000 draft pick (0)

  29. 10% of Americans admit they 'work high on marijuana' (0)

  30. Catholic high school coach fired after 'being identified as part of mob' that brutally beat gay couple in Philadelphia (0)

  31. Would you name your dog Peanut Wigglebutt? The top 40 most outlandish pet names of 2014 revealed (0)

  32. 'As Americans, we do not give in to fear': President Obama addresses the nation on ISIS fight after Congress approves arming Syrian rebels (0)

  33. Muslim pilgrims checked for Ebola virus on their way to Mecca as health chiefs announce more than 700 cases emerged in one week as disease sweeps West Africa (0)

  34. Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas spotted out on a date (0)

  35. The Queen watching Scotland referendum results 'closely' poised to issue statement (0)

  36. Alibaba prices IPO at $68 per share (0)

  37. Cardinals' Chris Rainey is SECOND player released over domestic violence charges in two days  (0)

  38. Man kills his five grandchildren, his daughter and young girl before turning gun on himself in small northern Florida town, reports suggest (0)

  39. SCOTLAND REFERENDUM RESULTS LIVE: Follow all the results from historic vote as they are announced with our interactive map (0)

  40. Teenage domestic assault victim shows her horrific scars after ex attack (0)

  41. Police investigating alleged electoral fraud at polling stations in Glasgow, Scotland, after people found their votes had already been cast (0)

  42. How chemicals in the brain may determine whether you look on the bright side of life (0)

  43. Expecting bad news, Mr Salmond? With the writing on the wall, SNP leader pulls out of appearance at his local count  (0)

  44. Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik not a fan of 'Frozen' (0)

  45. Something doesn't add up! CNN reports 110% turnout in Scottish independence vote (0)

  46. Shock return of the ultra-skinny model: Emporio Armani criticised after parading stick-thin women on Milan catwalk  (0)

  47. Child's maths skills decided in the womb: They do worse at age 5 if mother lacks key hormone (0)

  48. The 18th century sex change: Historic documents tell eye-watering story of surgery on young boy hidden in a girl's body (0)

  49. Did you know Goldfinger was a (nice) Nazi? Fifty years on, fabulous facts about the best Bond film ever (0)

  50. It's a yes! Royal and Ancient golf club at St Andrews votes to allow women members for the first time in 260 years after Scotland's OTHER poll  (0)