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09/28/90 IRENE L. WANZER v. DISTRICT COLUMBIA

September 28, 1990

IRENE L. WANZER, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF JAMES R. LEE, APPELLANT
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia; Hon. Sylvia Bacon, Trial Judge

Belson, Terry, and Steadman, Associates Judges.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Terry

Although there are privately owned ambulance companies which do business in the District of Columbia, most ambulance service is provided by the District of Columbia Fire Department through its Emergency Medical Service (EMS). To request an EMS ambulance, a person typically dials the emergency "911" telephone number. At about 3:30 a.m. On December 27, 1986, James Lee did just that. The conversation between Mr. Lee and the dispatcher went as follows:

DISPATCHER: Ambulance.

LEE: Yes, could you send an ambulance to 2930 10th Street, N.E., please?

DISPATCHER: Is it a house or apartment, sir?

LEE: I have a terrific headache.

DISPATCHER: Is it a house or apartment, sir?

LEE: House.

DISPATCHER: What is the problem now?

LEE: I have terrific headaches. I never had headaches in my life.

DISPATCHER: Have you taken anything for them?

LEE: No.

DISPATCHER: How long have you had these ...


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