TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa Fire Rescue Station 19 received a new, advanced life support ambulance that will help the station deal with a higher call volume in a South Tampa neighborhood, where the population is booming.
In November, a 52-year-old man fell off a two-story roof and died after waiting nearly 20 minutes for a Tampa Fire Rescue unit to arrive.
Emilio Monte and another tried to help at the time by giving CPR, but the man did not survive.
“The police got here first, but they didn’t have the right equipment,” Monte said.
At the time, Station 19 did not have a transport ambulance, and on the day the man fell off the roof, their firefighters were busy fighting a house fire. Units had to be sent in from downtown Tampa and from near International Plaza.
Tampa Fire Rescue Chief Barbara Tripp has been analyzing data since she took office on the growth in population and the number of calls for service in the area.
Tripp says the data shows the new rescue unit was needed.
“It shows we need to increase our service to the community and that’s with providing more advanced life support transport units,” said Tripp, who hopes to add five more rescue vehicles and 30 people to staff them over the next two years.
Monte says he’s just happy Station 19 has a nearby ambulance.
“Were excited and super happy to hear the great news, but I also wanted to thank you and your team for calling attention to this issue, because frankly if you hadn’t called attention to this problem who knows if and when the city would have responded to this,” Monte told a WFLA reporter who first covered the story of the man’s death.