Dallas fire response time questioned - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Dallas fire response time questioned

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Dallas Fire-Rescue on Monday responded to criticism about the response time to a fiery crash that killed two people.

The crash happened early Friday morning on the northbound frontage road of Highway 75 near Lemmon Avenue. Police said the driver lost control. His car hit a fence and utility pole and then burst into flames.

Responding officers tried to knock down the flames with a fire extinguisher, but it wasn't enough. The driver and a passenger in the front seat died.

People who gathered to help questioned why it took firefighters so long to arrive.

The fire department confirmed the response took nearly nine minutes, about twice as long as the normal response time.

Spokesman Lt. Joel Lavender explained firefighters had a bad address. Information from the 911 call placed the crash in the northbound lanes of the freeway.

They left the fire station at Cedar Springs Road and Regan Street, got onto the freeway and then noticed the fire was on the frontage road. They had to turn around at the next exit and double back.

They traveled about twice the distance from the shortest route, Lavender admitted.

That's no comfort to Dana Taylor. Her 25-year-old nephew, Josh Armstead, was the driver who died in the crash.

"Had the fire department gotten there in a timely manner, as the police were there, then maybe we would be able to view my nephew's body. His remains would be at least to where his mother could see him again," she said.

Lavender said police and firefighters got the same inaccurate address information, but the officers were able to get there a lot faster because their cars are a lot more mobile and agile.

He could not say whether a faster response could have saved the victims.

"That I'm not sure but at least we would have had a better opportunity to save someone," he said.


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