Man dies after ambulance went to wrong house

Pescaia says the paramedics were sent to the nearby apartment

PACIFIC VILLAGE, Hawa. (KGMB) – A Hawaii woman says her husband may still be alive if not for a 911 computer glitch. She says an ambulance was sent to the wrong house, delaying critical care.

“He was awesome. They don’t make them like that anymore,” said Maureen Pescaia, the wife of the man.

78-year-old Dayle, who died June 2nd, four days after suffering a heart attack at their Aiea home.

“I specifically kept my land line because he had medical challenges and I wanted to know that if I called the ambulance, they’d easily find us. And it didn’t work,” said Pescaia.

As soon as she called 911, she says the dispatcher pulled up her address in the E911 system as Uao Street, which is in the nearby Lele Pono high rise. Not Ualo Street, with an “l”, where she lives.

“She says, ‘Where are you?’ I said, ‘Pacific Village.’ She says, ‘It shows Lele Pono.’ ‘No, I’m in Pacific Village,'” said Pescaia.

KGMB obtained this internal city EMS report that shows the ambulance responded at 1:18 in the morning and arrived at the wrong scene four minutes later. That’s when the dispatcher, still on the phone with her as she was doing CPR, told her to go downstairs and let the paramedics in.

“There’s no one there. I ran back up the stairs. She says ‘Aren’t they there?’ I said ‘No.’ So I started doing chest compressions again,” said Pescaia.

Pescaia says the paramedics were sent to the nearby apartment. They arrived at the correct address several minutes later, after fire and police crews.

“I thought, ‘I’m a widow,’” said Pescaia.

The city EMS report shows the ambulance dispatcher wrote “kept trying to update the address, but system would not let me.” Sources say on rare occasions, city ambulances are sent to the wrong address because of glitches in the system, which is why dispatchers double check addresses with 911 callers.

“I can’t think of anything more frightening than thinking ‘They’ve gone to the wrong place because of a computer glitch,'” said Pescaia.

Pescaia says her elderly husband suffered from diabetes, heart and kidney problems. And it’s unclear if the delay in the paramedics’ arrival caused his death. The man who oversees the city ambulance service released a statement that said: “The Honolulu emergency medical services division is actively investigating the incident.”

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